America’s Forever Wars: Centering Communities Impacted By War

Over the past decade, there have been calls from both political parties to end America’s forever wars. Despite these promises and the tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan, America’s foreign policy and military are increasingly entangled in overseas conflicts, from Yemen and Gaza to Ukraine and beyond. This panel brings together leaders from communities of color profoundly affected by America’s foreign policy. They will explore pathways to disengagement from war, emphasize the importance of robust diplomacy, and advocate for redirecting resources back home. Central to their discussion will be the imperative of welcoming refugees displaced by American policies abroad.

Register here to join the conference in-person or virtually.
Learn more and view the agenda here.

Friday July 12, 2024
2:45pm – 3:45pm
(in-person & streaming*) Netroots Nation, Baltimore MD

*The session will be streamed live through the event app, making it accessible to all attendees, including those participating virtually.


Arash Azizzada

Arash AzizzadaArash is a Afghan-American immigrant, writer, photographer, dreamer and community organizer based in both Los Angeles and New York City. During the Trump administration, he led advocacy efforts to ensure Afghan women were part of the Doha-based withdrawal negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban. He co-founded Afghans For A Better Tomorrow (AFBT), initially focusing on evacuation and rapid response coordination efforts. Today, he aims to transform the lives of Afghans through grassroots organizing, communal healing and movement building for a better tomorrow to ensure Afghans can lead dignified lives. His work has been featured on Netflix, the New York Times, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, National Public Radio (NPR), the Washington Post as well as Vice News.

Mana Kharrazi

Mana Kharrazi

Mana is the Executive Director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), the largest Iranian-American grassroots organization dedicated to community building and youth empowerment. She is the former Education Director of Response Centre International, a volunteer Greek NGO created in response to the refugee crisis where she developed the first comprehensive educational program for refugee youth in Greece. The program combines innovative youth leadership practices with practical techniques currently in use by international organizations working with refugee youth in the United States, EU and Middle East. Prior to leading IAAB, Mana was a Field Organizer at Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), leading the organization’s work in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as other parts of the South, campaigning on maternal healthcare, immigration, the death penalty, and national security issues.


Nancy Okail

Nancy OkailNancy Okail is President and CEO of the Center for International Policy. Dr. Okail is a leading scholar, policy analyst, and advocate with more than 20 years of experience working on issues of human rights, democracy, and security in the Middle East and North Africa region. In 2020, Okail was appointed as a visiting scholar at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University, focusing on accountability and the intersection of human rights and technology. Prior to joining Stanford, she served as Executive Director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP), which under her leadership became an internationally renowned policy research organization. Before coming to the United States, Okail worked on, managed, and evaluated foreign aid programs for several international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. In her subsequent role as Director of Freedom House’s Egypt program, Okail was one of the 43 nongovernmental organization workers convicted and sentenced to prison in a widely publicized 2012 case for allegedly using foreign funds to foment unrest in Egypt. She was then exonerated by a court ruling in December of 2018.

Mohammed Khader

Mohammed Khader is a political strategist, analyst, and advocate, with roots in both McComb, Mississippi, and a village near Nablus, Palestine. Currently, he serves as the policy advisor for Jeramy Anderson’s mayoral campaign in Moss Point, Mississippi. Khader’s political career began unexpectedly during his undergraduate studies when he became involved with a UN major group, which spurred his passion for political work. His early advocacy efforts included opposing cuts to arts programming in his elementary school. Throughout his career, Khader has focused on political analysis, strategy, and advocacy, with a particular emphasis on the intersections of foreign policy and domestic politics. His Palestinian heritage profoundly shapes his perspective, informing his positions on various issues. Khader reflects on the resilience of Palestinians and aims to honor the hopes for freedom, justice, and self-determination of his ancestors. He has faced and overcome significant obstacles, including anti-Black racism and prejudice, which have strengthened his connection to his identity.