HOME: Conversations on Forced Displacement

Repeats every day until Sat Jan 15 2022 . Also includes Sat Feb 19 2022, Sat Mar 19 2022, Sat Apr 16 2022, Sat May 21 2022, Sat Jun 18 2022.
January 15, 2022 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
February 19, 2022 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
March 19, 2022 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
April 16, 2022 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
May 21, 2022 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
June 18, 2022 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Registration: Free but advance registration is required. Click here to register.

The HOME Refugee Steering Committee continues its virtual HOME Conversations series in 2022 with HOME: Conversations on Forced Displacement. Each year we gather input from past participants as we plan the next series. At their request, our new format emphasizes both active dialogue and actionable steps. Each conversation will take place in two parts, with a virtual panel discussion on an aspect of forced displacement followed, a month later, by a small-group discussion about taking action. The series is moderated by HOME Refugee Steering Committee member Paul Vang.

HOME: Conversations on Forced Displacement will examine relevant issues in contemporary refugee resettlement at the local level and across the globe. We hope to engage community members in understanding specific refugee resettlement crises as well as the larger issues of forced displacement, including its various contexts, while also providing an opportunity for participants to learn how they can get involved in local, on-the-ground efforts to aid refugee families and communities as they resettle among us. As with all HOME Conversations, artists will be integral to our discussions and action plans, and we will be seeking ways to bring together diverse voices to forge solutions that extend beyond a specific refugee population.

Saturday, January 15, 2022 – 11 am-12:30 pm
Saturday, February 19, 2022 – 11 am-12:30 pm
The Afghan Refugee Crisis

This first installment of the HOME Conversations will take a closer look at the Afghan refugee crisis from the vantage point of those intimately involved and directly impacted in the resettlement process here in Wisconsin and beyond. Our panelists will include Afghan artists and refugees, as well as local resettlement organizers, all of whom are working to navigate the effects of the refugee crisis in real time. In February, those who are interested can continue the discussion, sharing information on how individuals and groups can get involved and help in the resettlement efforts.

About the Participants
Moderator | Paul Vang serves as the Civic Engagement Director at HAWA, the Hmong American Women’s Association. He is a former science educator and is passionate about helping to build power within the Southeast Asian community by engaging in conversations with people at their doors, hosting educational events that are open to the public, and educating elected officials on the Southeast Asian population here in Milwaukee.

Maryam Durani is an Afghan activist, an elected official and an internationally recognized advocate for the rights of Afghan women and girls. As a young adult, Durani served as a Kandahar Provincial Council Member twice for 14 years, and since her many years of council service, she has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights, firmly committed to building an inclusive and equitable society. She is the founder of the Kandahar Women Advocacy Network, in addition to leading Khadija Kobra Women's Association for Culture, the non-government organization that works to uphold women's rights in Afghanistan. A program under Khadija Kobra, she ran a women's health club and gym that garnered international attention. She managed Mirman Radio of Kandahar, the only local female-focused radio station, and is the founder of the Malalai Maiwandi Internet café, a free women's internet café that aims to connect women within a thriving environment and safe space, also the first of its kind in Afghanistan. She founded the House of Learning, an institute of modern studies for girls education free of cost. Durani studied business at the American University of Afghanistan, and read law and political science at Noor University.

Recognizing her important work and contribution to women's rights at a national and global scale, Durani is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the U.S. Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage, and was highlighted as one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012, an honor that she shared with Russian democratic politician Alexei Navalny and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In 2013, she was one of 30 young activists recognized by the National Endowment for Democracy with support for her work to empower women to take on leadership roles, and in 2014, she received the Four Freedoms Medal for Freedom of Speech. In 2015, she received the International Peace Generation Award. She has received the Brave Woman Award from the State of Pennsylvania, the Women's Rights Protector Award from Washington, and an Iraq and Afghanistan Female Peace Activist Appreciation Letter from Turkey. She is considered both a leader and role model for women throughout Afghanistan, and despite facing regular threats on her life--including a suicide attack in 2009 that resulted in serious injury-- Durani is undeterred in her mission to promote basic civil rights for all Afghans. In 2021, she fled the ongoing humanitarian crisis and resettled to the United States with her family. She now lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Omaid Sharifi is a Curator, Artivist, President of ArtLords and Wartists, and a Harvard University Fellow. Sharifi is also a Millennium Leadership Fellow with Atlantic Council, Asia Society 21 and American Foreign Relations Council/Rumsfeld Fellow.

Khalid Naseri is an asylum-seeker from Afghanistan. Naseri worked with the U.S. Army in his homeland and came to the United States in 2017 through the Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans (SIV) program, not unlike the process of many Afghans during the ongoing humanitarian crisis in 2021, of which he has been an active and first-hand observer. He has been living and working in Madison, Wisconsin since his arrival, as a Dar and Pashto interpreter with Jewish Social Services (JSS) and Dane County. He is a grassroots volunteer and has been involved in various projects including the refugee-led Madison Refugee Union that aims at giving voice to Madison’s refugees through education, advocacy, and community. He and his wife hope to ensure that their two young children keep their dreams of being a doctor and a pilot despite the struggles in their homeland.

Sheila Badwan was born in Raleigh, NC and raised in Greenville, NC. She graduated in 2005 from East Carolina University with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. She has worked in the healthcare industry in many specialties doing medical billing and coding for the last 10 years. Badwan is the cofounder of Open Arms, an interfaith group of women in Milwaukee. She is currently the lead for the Hanan RRG Milwaukee chapter and works heavily with refugees and immigrant populations in the Milwaukee community. She is married and a devoted mom to two kids, one of whom is partially deaf and has epilepsy. Badwan believes this is important in building bridges among various communities. She has worked in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Oshkosh to establish relationships with various cultures, communities, and religions on refugee/immigrant issues.

Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 11 am-12:30 pm
Saturday, April 16, 2022 – 11 am-12:30 pm
Topic TBD

Saturday, May 21, 2022 – 11 am-12:30 pm
Saturday, June 18, 2022 – 11 am-12:30 pm
Topic TBD

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