Elevating Inspiring Voices Across the United States

AMEL Speaker Bnyad Sharef from Iraq shared his story yesterday with students, faculty and the wider public at the City University of New York (CUNY) about the immigrant experience and how activists are taking action to protect the rights of other immigrants and refugees. Bnyad’s story of immigration amidst the Travel Ban had captivated audiences last October during the National Refugee Shabbat at the Bnai Keshet synagogue in Montclair, NJ, which led to the invitation to speak yesterday at CUNY.

Last month Bnyad also shared his story with youth at the BBYO International Conference where he spoke to an audience of students from all across the United States and led a workshop together with AMEL Speakers Bureau colleague Cedric Nwafor. Their workshop was an interactive session on Storytelling, Public Narrative and Leadership, using their own stories as examples of how personal narratives can be transformed into public speeches that can motivate others to action for a common purpose. A parallel workshop was led by AMEL President Mohamed Abubakr and Executive Director Megan Hallahan with a focus on how to build alliances among diverse groups and communities, for example among Muslim and Jewish communities.

Bnyad, Cedric and several other young leaders originally from the Middle East and Africa were trained in public speaking and are being deployed to speaking engagements across the country as part of the My Voice Our Future campaign in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)-New York/New Jersey region.

Upcoming speaking engagements include:

  • AMEL’s Executive Director Megan Hallahan at the 16th Annual Summit of the NYU Wagner School’s International Public Service Association (IPSA) on April 5th

  • AMEL Speaker Isaac Cudjoe at Brandeis University on April 12th

  • AMEL’s President Mohamed Abubakr at Stanford University on April 17th

  • AMEL’s President Mohamed Abubakr at Temple Emanu-El on April 20th

  • AMEL Speaker Isaac Cudjoe keynote address at the Seneca Valley High School Commencement on June 13th

Interested in an AMEL Speaker coming to your campus, workplace or community? Then contact us on info@amelproject.org or fill out the form here and we would be happy to work with you to arrange a speaker or speakers for your next event, conference or workshop!