AMEL Speakers Bureau Trains First Group from the Middle East & Africa

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The first five speakers-in-training of the AMEL Speakers Bureau gathered for an interactive workshop during the past three days in New York. The culmination of two months of online speech-crafting and public speaking training, the workshop focused on the mechanics of public speaking, speech refinement and audience engagement. Closing the workshop on March 11/12th were first-look showcases of the Speakers for partners and supporters at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) headquarters in New York.

Originally coming from Iran, Israel, Syria, Cameroon and Iraq, the Speakers - Bnyad Sharef, Cedric Nwafor, Mohammad Modarres, Mor Yahalom and Ruwan Al-Rejoleh - are now based in the United States. Each with their own unique background and experiences, they all have inspirational stories of innovating and building bridges to fight hatred, poverty, discrimination and division. This first cohort of Speakers is part of a pilot program “My Voice, Our Future”, a joint campaign of the AMEL Speakers Bureau and the ADL New York Region to spread these inspiring voices across New York state and, subsequently, nationwide.

The My Voice, Our Future campaign leverages the stories of the AMEL Speakers to combat the rising tides of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, other forms of hate in America, as well as to promote meaningful cross-community engagement and collaboration and to redefine to the American public what it means to be a person from the MEA region. Deployment of these incredible activists to campuses, houses of worship, and community centers and events across New York state are beginning in March 2018 and will continue through Fall 2018, with a particular focus on places with tense campus climate or spikes in hate incidents. Roll-out beyond the New York state area will take place in phases through 2019.

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