Our conference includes an impressive lineup of national speakers with broad experience in peace and justice advocacy and education. .
Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles
The Jewish American daughter of an Israeli father and an American mother, Estee joined the Obama for America Campaign in 2007and spent a year as a Deputy Field Organizer helping to train hundreds of volunteers in the greater Los Angeles area. She also served as a Delegate representing California’s 28th Congressional at the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, CO
In 2014, Estee became one of the two producers and co-hosts of "Middle East Peace in Focus" on KPFK, 90.7 FM.
Estee is the JVP-Los Angeles Chapter Organizer, having launched the chapter in 2010. She also works with the national staff and board of JVP in political advocacy.
Diane’s connection to Palestine began in 2011 when she harvested olives with West Bank farm families. Subsequent return visits to Palestine, engagement with advocacy efforts, study and faith-based networking to deepen her knowledge have led to her full-time commitment, her position with Kairos USA as Director of Church Participation and her presence as co-leader of the conference.
Diane is ordained in the United Church of Christ. She served congregations in California and Oregon for 34 years. She is experienced in bringing the message of Kairos Palestine/Kairos USA to church settings.
Kairos USA and In the Footsteps of Jesus Alternative Tour
Jeff is ordained clergy in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), now retired. Jeff and his wife Janet have taken alternative tours to Palestine and Israel for 15 years and served as mission volunteers at the YMCA of East Jerusalem in Beit Sahour.
They have created an all-Arabic-speaking team which uses EMDR (Eye Movement, Desensitization and Reprocessing), a mental health therapy, to treat trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Wrights are now working on a new project with a Kairos Palestine Bethlehem team.
American Muslims for Palestine
Taher is one of the 'Irvine 11," a group of UC Riverside and UC Irvine students who were arrested and prosecuted for expressing their constitutionally protected rights of free speech and political dissent when they heckled Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at a speech he gave at UC Irvine in 2010.
He now serves as the National Campus Coordinator for American Muslims for Palestine and has organized many successful campus campaigns across the United States. Taher is the son of immigrants from Gaza; he also has many family members still living in Gaza and lost some of his family in Operation Cast Lead in 2009.
M. Theresa Basile
United Methodist Kairos Response
A co-founder and Steering Committee member of United Methodist Kairos Response, Theresa organizes local, regional and international United Methodist Church programs and campaigns for justice in Israel-Palestine. She also works with advocacy leaders in many other Christians denominations and numerous ecumenical and interfaith organizations and has spoken across the United States about faith-based initiatives for justice in Palestine.
Theresa's activism and community organizing spans two decades and a broad range of social and political issues, including labor and economic justice, the environment, and immigration reform.
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Mike joined the US Campaign after spending eight months volunteering as an English and photography teacher in Palestinian refugee camps. He has been with the US Campaign since 2009, starting out as an intern, and now working full-time on a range of issues as Legislative Coordinator and Director of Development.
Mike holds a undergraduate degree in Political Science from University of Portland, in Oregon, and also has studied Foreign Policy at American University. His areas of expertise include communications, lobbying, and grassroots organizing.