The AMEL Speakers Bureau empowers young peace, interfaith and human rights activists from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) who are living in the U.S., including immigrants, refugees and visiting fellows. Building upon the experiences of AMEL President Mohamed Abubakr, AMEL Speakers receive public speaking training and are deployed to college campuses, community centers and places of worship across the U.S. Sharing their courageous stories, they spread sparks of inspiration, understanding, dialogue and cooperation while at the same time expanding their leadership profiles and abilities. The AMEL Speakers Bureau began recruitment of its first cohort in December 2017 in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League-New York (ADL).

Under the banner "My Voice, Our Future", the first campaign of the AMEL-ADL partnership will consist in a series of speaking events across New York state featuring millennial leaders from the Middle East and Africa who are taking action on shared core human rights and bridge-building issues. Following targeted recruitment in December 2017, five young leaders were chosen: Ruwan Al-Rejoleh, Mohammad Modarres, Bnyad Sharef, Mor Yahalom and Cedric Nwafor, who are bringing stories from diverse backgrounds spanning Syria, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Cameroon. Between January and March 2018, they received public speaking and media coaching sessions, as well as an intensive “bootcamp” workshop to prepare them for their new roles.

Following the training, the AMEL Speakers are being deployed to a series of speaking engagements to bring together and inspire diverse audiences across New York. Their voices are fostering the spirit of religious understanding and pluralism through events on college campuses, at diverse organizations and institutions, and houses of worship. In those spaces, they will share their own courageous stories of overcoming hatred and exclusion—often in challenging circumstances—and encourage others to join them in denying divisiveness through dialogue, engagement and cooperation.

The pilot program will run through the Fall of 2018 and, on a modular basis, the program will be expanded across the country and to additional speakers.

If you are interested in hosting an AMEL Speaker, please email us at info@amelproject.org