Jay Abdo: is a Syrian American actor and grassroots activist who used his fame in Syria to assist orphans, children with special needs, and children with cancer. In March 2011 his refusal to publicly support the repressive Assad regime led to personal threats and professional pressure, which forced him to flee from Syria to the United States.

Zach Blair: is the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the band Rise Against. Zach and the music of Rise Against has always been openly activist on a slew of issues, from civil rights to environmentalism.

Victoria Burns: is an art historian and art advisor with over 25 years of experience in the international art market. She believes that Happiness, aesthetic enhancement, education, a new point of view, and even social change is possible through exposure to great works of art.

Raed Fares: is a Syrian political cartoonist and the founder of Radio Fresh and Union of Revolutionary Bureaus. In addition to his cartoons, he also works in mosaics and graffiti art to fight poverty and portray civil and revolutionary thought in Syria.

Lori Jo Hoekstra: is a television producer and writer and has worked in the industry for over 20 years.

Aron Kader
is a standup comedian and a founding member of The Axis of Evil Comedy Tourthat debuted on Comedy Central’in 2007 and toured nationally and internationally.

Emel Mathlouthi: is a Tunisian singer/songwriter who faced censorship on the airwaves in Tunisia for her role as a leading artist in the Arab Spring. She continues to record, perform, and produce music with powerful social messaging.

Carolyn Mellin is a Senior Advisor to WME/IMG, consulting on a wide range of international programs. As a producer of children’s and educational programming for PBS, Carolyn spent the early part of her career developing some of the network’s award winning series including, Degrassi Junior High, Ramona and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? She then joined IMG where she served as the Executive Director of the Special Projects and Educational Programs division, developing and managing educational and CSR projects for corporate clients as well as educational, government and non-profit institutions.

Eric Novotny: is an expert in advanced information and communication technologies. Dr. Novotny lectures at American University, and previously served as Senior Advisor, Democracy and Technology, at the U.S. Agency for International Development where he managed a large portfolio of programs designed to stimulate economic growth, improve democratic processes, and reform governance policies in developing countries.

Allen Shapard: is senior director and chair of public engagement strategies in APCO Worldwide’s New York office. He assists clients in effectively engaging key stakeholders to enhance reputation through a multidisciplinary approach. Allen has years of experience in advising international organizations, corporations, institutions and notable individuals.

Hamed Sinno: is the lead singer of Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou’ Leila. Hamed is openly gay and advocates for LGBT rights in the Middle East and around the world.

Bassem Youssef: is an Egyptian comedian who began his comedy career after the overthrow of President Mubarak by producing a series of short political satire videos, which grew from clips he hosted from his home and put up on YouTube into an ONTV network show, El Bernameg, which became the most popular TV series in Egypt’s history. In 2013, El Bernameg was cancelled and Youssef faced charges of insulting Islam and then-President Morsi, leading him to leave the Middle East.

Nanfu Wang: is an award-winning independent filmmaker based in New York. Originally from a remote village in China, her work often features the stories of marginalized or mistreated people. These stories hold accountable those abusing individuals’ human rights, opening them up to censorship and repression. Her debut feature film, Hooligan Sparrow, reveals firsthand how far the Chinese government will go to silence dissent and protect its own interests.

Ani Zonneveld: is a Malaysian-American singer, songwriter, activist and writer based in Los Angeles. She is the president and founder of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), a non-profit faith-based human rights organization in the United States with affiliates in Canada, Europe, Chile, Australia, Tunisia, Burundi and Malaysia, challenging human rights abuses in the name of Sharia law, the right to freedom of expression and for freedom of religion and belief.