Conference Agenda

The conference agenda is subject to change. Please check back for updates about sessions and speakers.

A Turning Point and a New Path Forward

Day 1 ■ Thursday, June 9, 2022

Day 1 of the Assyrian National Conference is aimed at advancing Assyrian-American priorities on Capitol Hill and connecting attendees with their Representatives—building greater visibility for the Assyrian-American community.

9:00am—2:00pm

Advocacy Day: Assyrian-Americans on Capitol Hill

Join us on Capitol Hill as we hear from Members of U.S. Congress, share our stories and perspectives with our Representatives, and advocate for Assyrian-American priorities.

6:00pm—7:00pm

Registration

Attendees check-in, pick up badges, and receive conference materials.

7:00pm—9:00pm

Welcome Session

The welcome session provides the perfect opportunity to catch-up with colleagues, make new friends, and create valuable connections before the conference officially kicks off. Attendees will come together and share their experiences and reflections through an open mic session, creating the space for new voices to be heard.

Day 2 ■ Friday, June 10, 2022

Day 2 features an incredible speaker lineup, from scholars and educators to community organizers and advocates. The speakers will bring knowledge and enlightening perspectives to key topics. Attendees will have the opportunity to listen, learn, ask questions, and engage with speakers.

8:00am—9:00am

Registration & Breakfast

Attendees check-in, pick up badges, and receive conference materials. Breakfast is served buffet-style. This meal is included with registration.

9:00am—10:00am

Opening Session

Join API Chairman Jon Koriel, Conference Chair Stephanie Yousif, and other API team members as they welcome you to the inaugural Assyrian National Conference. This session will introduce conference objectives, API highlights from the last year, and set the vision for building meaningful, action-oriented connections to advance solutions to challenges facing Assyrians worldwide.

10:00am—11:15am

Confronting Hard Truths: The Future for Assyrians in Iraq

An expert panel will address recent political and security developments in northern Iraq that threaten the future of Assyrians in the country, examining the policies of key actors like the U.S. and assessing prospects for a sustainable future.

11:15am—11:30am

A Turning Point and a New Path Forward

API Executive Director Reine Hanna will speak on this year's conference theme, "A Turning Point and a New Path Forward," and look forward to the future of the Assyrian Policy Institute.

11:30am—12:30pm

The State of the Assyrian Diaspora: A Community Assessment

Using a participatory approach, members of the API team will lead a community assessment to identify the needs and resources of the Assyrian community. The community assessment will then be used as a guide to understand what initiatives would be most effective and the different approaches that can be taken.

12:30pm—1:00pm

Lunch Break

Lunch will be served buffet-style. This meal is included with registration.

1:00pm—2:00pm

The Impact of Genocide on Assyrian Identity

Panelists will explore the connection between memory and identity by reflecting on the stories of Assyrian Genocide survivors and their descendants, and examine the impact of genocide on Assyrian identity and how the legacy of the Assyrian Genocide is visible today.

2:15pm—3:15pm

A Race Against Time: Recording Assyrian Oral Histories and Collecting Artifacts

The recording of oral histories is central to chronicling the history and heritage of the Assyrian people. As generations pass, much of this history is lost. An expert panel will address the urgency to collect oral interviews and artifacts and discuss ongoing efforts to preserve Assyrian stories and histories for future generations.

3:30pm—4:30pm

Grounding Assyrian Language Revitalization in Community

This panel will bring together perspectives of scholars, advocates, and creators embarking on revitalizing the Assyrian language through different methods. Panelists will address the importance of language preservation and discuss innovative strategies for language preservation and revitalization.

7:00pm to 8:00pm

Book Talk: Assyrians in Modern Iraq

Join us in conversation with Dr. Alda Benjamen about her new book, Assyrians in Modern Iraq. Reserve your copy in advance by adding-on to your registration package.

8:00pm to 11:00pm

Take Two: Assyrian Film in Diaspora

This exhibition of video works brings together prominent movies, television, music videos, and contemporary video art from the Assyrian diaspora to reflect on the evolution of Assyrian society and popular culture. By contextualizing prominent works of Assyrian media created globally in one collection, this curation is able to explore the nature of time and memory and allow viewers to contemplate the future of Assyrian society, culture, and art.

Day 3 ■ Saturday, June 11, 2022

Breakout sessions are the highlight of Day 3. These smaller-group workshops and roundtable discussion will allow attendees to meaningfully engage with guest speakers and other attendees on the various topics, focusing on advancing ideas and brainstorming solutions to unifying challenges. During these breakout sessions, attendees can choose to contribute to discussions or join as active listeners. 

9:00am—10:00am

Registration & Breakfast

Attendees check-in, pick up badges, and receive conference materials. Breakfast is served buffet-style. This meal is included with registration.

10:00am—11:30am

Replanting Roots, Rebuilding Community: Assyrians in America

Beginning at the end of the 19th century, with an influx during the Assyrian Genocide, the widespread persecution of Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire and Persia led to their immigration to the United States. Many Assyrians seeking refuge found their way to growing populations in California, Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois. An expert panel will explore the early history of Assyrian-Americans and how they established cultural, social, and political institutions to foster a sense of community far from the lands they once called home.

11:30am—1:00pm

Breakout Session 1 
Concurrent Sessions*

Attendees will have the opportunity to join a small group workshop or roundtable discussions to deep-dive into key issues facing the Assyrian community.

Roundtable: The Future of Assyrians in Iraq

The Role of the Diaspora in Sustaining Assyrian Communities in Iraq

Assyrian Language Preservation and Revitalization

Telling Assyrian Stories: An Oral History Workshop and Discussion

1:00pm—1:30pm

Lunch Break

Boxed lunches will be served to enable working lunches. This meal is included with registration.

1:30pm—3:00pm

Breakout Session 2 
Concurrent Sessions*

Attendees will have the opportunity to join a small group workshop or roundtable discussions to deep-dive into key issues facing the Assyrian community.

Roundtable: The Future for Assyrians in Iraq

The Role of the Diaspora in Sustaining Assyrian Communities in Iraq

Assyrian Language Preservation and Revitalization

Telling Assyrian Stories: An Oral History Workshop and Discussion

3:00pm—3:30pm

Closing Session

The closing session is a time for all attendees to come together on the last day and process what they have learned at the conference, and to think about the next steps for moving forward. This session will be led by members of the API team.

*Attendees will have the opportunity to choose two breakout sessions during the registration process. Please keep in mind that space is limited, and placements are not guaranteed. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you register, the more options you have to choose from.