Session Announcement: Palestinian Activism under Attack

Washington, D.C. | | May 4, 2023 – We are proud to announce that the upcoming ADC National Convention will feature a session that examines the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism and its impact on Palestinian activism and academic freedom. The session will be held on Saturday, June 17th as part of the convention program.

The session titled Palestinian Activism Under Attack: IHRA and Academic Freedom, aims to provide a nuanced understanding of the impact of IHRA on Palestinian activism and the broader struggle for justice. It will explore the consequences of adopting the IHRA definition for academic institutions and individuals who engage in critical analysis of Israel, Israeli policy and, Palestinian activism.

The session will be moderated by Dr. William Youmans and feature Dr. Lara Sheehi, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the George Washington University, Omar Baddar, Political Analyst, Digital Producer, and Human Rights Advocate, Dima Khalidi, Founder and Director of Palestine Legal and, Huwaida Arraf, attorney and human rights activist.

The ADC National Convention will be held from June 16th to the 18th, 2023, including the session on IHRA on June 17th. Early Bird Registration rates are available for Convention packages which include access to all events, luncheons, dinners, panels, and receptions.

Please note that hotel rooms are filling up fast, and attendees from out of town are encouraged to reserve rooms at the Crystal Gateway Marriott using the ADC special rates.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Lara Sheehi is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the George Washington University. She is the founding faculty director of the Psychoanalysis and the Arab World Lab, and her work focuses on decolonial and anti-oppressive approaches to psychoanalysis, with a particular interest in liberation struggles in the Global South. She co-authored the book Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practicing Resistance in Palestine, which won the 2022 Middle East Monitor’s Palestine Book Award for Best Academic Book. She holds several leadership positions in professional organizations related to psychoanalysis and is also a contributing editor to Parapraxis Magazine and on the advisory board for the USA-Palestine Mental Health Network and Psychoanalysis for Pride.

Omar Baddar is a political analyst, digital producer, and human rights advocate based in Washington, DC. He holds an M.A. in International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of Memphis, where his research focused on U.S.-Middle East policy. He is the former Executive Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Massachusetts, and the former Director of the Palestine Cultural Center for Peace in Boston, MA. He has participated in dozens of panels, lectures, and debates on college and university campuses throughout the US.

Dima Khalidi is the Founder and Director of Palestine Legal, where she oversees the organization’s legal and advocacy work aimed at protecting individuals advocating for Palestinian freedom from civil and constitutional rights violations. Prior to founding Palestine Legal, Dima worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights on cases involving Palestinian rights violations and the desecration of an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem. She holds a JD from DePaul University College of Law, an MA in International and Comparative Legal Studies from the University of London, and a BA in History and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan.

Huwaida Arraf is an attorney and human rights activist, known for her involvement in legal and grassroots initiatives for Palestinian rights over the past two decades. She co-founded the International Solidarity Movement, helped build the first clinical legal education program in the Arab world, and was one of the initiators and organizers of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Huwaida was a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2020. She was also a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022.

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