Following a statement made after the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, between July 10th and July 24th, 2020, Mizna with the US-based organizations including the Imagining Transnational Solidarities Research Circle at the University of Minnesota, and Arab Resource and Organizing Center will host a series of online panels in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Panels in Arabic, English, and Farsi will address the history, present, and future of joint struggles between Black and non-Black South West Asian and North African communities, as well as solidarities and coalitions between SWANA communities and Black American communities in the United States. The series will also interrogate anti-Black racism in the SWANA region and its diasporas, and acknowledges the ways in which the SWANA communities have contributed to, profited from, and perpetuated forms of anti-Black racism and violence, while being subjected to anti-Arab, anti-Iranian, and anti-Muslim violence both locally and globally.
These dialogues are some of the ongoing actions that Mizna and its partners are taking to address anti-Black racism prevalent in the laws, distribution of resources, and cultural productions in SWANA communities. We seek to confront the biases and racism present within ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our organizations. Among a wide variety of topics, we will grapple with the charges of racism and discrimination against some SWANA businesses, the surfacing of anti-Black racism perpetuated by some members of the SWANA communities, the intensification of fascism, xenophobia and white supremacy, increased policing and surveillance, and the performances of model minority citizenship and market virility that contribute to white ascendency. We aim to collectively develop strategies of organizing without subsuming Blackness under Arabness or Iranian-ness, and without falling into the divide and conquer trap that distracts our political energies. Our conversations will be rooted in multi-issue organizing traditions, joint solidarity approaches to social justice, and building sustainable movements transnationally by making connections between the violence of slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, cis heteropatriarchy, and militarism. By centering Black lives in these webinars, we hope to highlight the necessity of confronting and meaningfully challenging anti-Black racism in our communities and in our social justice work.
Panelists from North America, Europe, and Southwest Asia, East Africa, and North Africa will offer their expertise and experiences on these topics. Stay tuned for more information and mark your calendars to join the conversations below.
This project is co-sponsored by AGITATE!, Arab American Cultural Center, Arab Studies Institute, New Arab American Theater Work, Radius of Arab American Writers, Arab American Action Network, US Palestinian Community Network, Mamas, Gender & Sexuality page of Jadaliyya.
English –July 10, 2020 // 11am CDT // 4pm GMT
PANELISTS: Moustafa Bayoumi, Ramla Bile, Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda, Lara Kiswani, Nadine Naber, Ash Stephans
MODERATORS: Sima Shakhsari, Farid Matuk
PANELISTS + MODERATOR BIOS HERE
Farsi / فارسی –July 17, 2020 // 11am CDT // 4pm GMT
PANELISTS: Alex Eskandarkhah, Parisa Vaziri, Priscillia Kounkou-Hoveyda, Dr. Assal Rad
MODERATORS: Sima Shakhsari, M. Shadee Malaklou
PANELISTS + MODERATOR BIOS HERE
Arabic / العربي –July 24, 2020 // 11am CDT // 4pm GMT
Read more information on the mizna.org website.