Our Frequently Asked Questions will be periodically updated, so please check back often for new questions and answers.
WHAT IS THE AFGHAN-AMERICAN CONFERENCE?
The Afghan-American Conference is an annual nationwide conference for young community leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue, grow professionally, and build relationships.
The conference is equal parts professional, cultural, spiritual, social, and personal. It is a holistic event consisting of keynote speeches, professional panels, skill-building workshops, roundtable discussions, safe space caucuses, town halls, networking mixers, entertainment, and even TED-style Talks.
WHO HOSTS THE AFGHAN-AMERICAN CONFERENCE?
The conference is an annual event hosted by the Afghan-American Conference Organizing Committee and Subcommittees. These committees consist of Afghan-American professionals and students hailing from across the U.S. Please refer to the About Us section to learn more about the Organizing Committee.
WHO MAY ATTEND?
This conference is open to all individuals who identify as members of the Afghan diaspora. All participants must be high school graduates. The preferred age range at this conference is 18-39. Applicants beyond this range will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
I'm an Alum. Why do I need to apply again?
We have limited space at AAC each year, and if we were to automatically let alumni in, we would not be able to accommodate new attendees. Thus, to ensure that the process is still fair, alumni need to also apply each year. We have different short answer questions for our alumni in the application.
WHY ARE ONLY YOUNG ADULTS ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND?
Our goal is to provide a safe space for young adults in our community to come together. We acknowledge that the older generation is an integral part of our community, and the voice of our elders is invaluable. However, at this time, AAC lacks the organizational capacity and resources to organize an event catering to all age ranges. We look forward to supporting and partnering with future initiatives that will help us engage these crucial members of our community. Please note that everyone who applies will be considered as there is no hard cutoff at neither 18 nor 39 years old, but priority will be given to young Afghan-Americans in their 20s and 30s.
WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE CONFERENCE BE HELD?
This year’s conference will be held at George Washington University. The address is 2121 I St NW, Washington, DC 20052. The conference will begin on Friday, April 28 and end on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
WHAT IS THE CONFERENCE DRESS CODE?
The attire is business casual all weekend. Attendees may choose to wear traditional Afghan garb at the Saturday evening banquet.
WHAT IS THE ITINERARY?
Please refer to the Agenda for the schedule, as well as a detailed list of sessions and speakers (when available). The schedule is subject to change.
I HAVE GREAT IDEAS. MAY I PRESENT AT THE CONFERENCE?
Yes! Attendees have two options to present: Session Topics and TED-Style talks. We are always looking for dynamic, accomplished and passionate speakers. Please check our website periodically for more updates in the coming months. We will also be hosting short TED-style Talks throughout the weekend. These 5-10 minute Talks will be led by YOU, the attendee. Participants interested in giving TED-style Talks will be required to submit a script, audition tape, and if applicable, a Powerpoint presentation. More details will be forthcoming.
WHAT MATERIALS SHOULD I BRING?
To get the most out of this conference, please be sure to bring your own notebook to take notes.
WHAT FOOD & BEVERAGE IS INCLUDED WITH THE REGISTRATION FEE?
Friday, April 28: Light refreshments and hors d'oeuvres;
Saturday, April 29: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner;
Sunday, April 30: Breakfast and lunch.
I HAVE SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS. CAN THOSE BE ACCOMMODATED AT THE CONFERENCE?
We will make efforts to offer Halal/Zabiha and vegetarian options. Beyond that, please email us separately with your dietary needs by Friday, March 31, 2017 and we will try to accommodate as best we can.
DO YOU NEED VOLUNTEERS?
Absolutely. There will be many volunteer opportunities at the conference. All volunteers will be required to attend a mandatory Webex training before the conference to ensure a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. We will do our best to accommodate your availability. Please submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line titled “Your Next Volunteer Super-Hero.”
HOW DO I APPLY?
Every individual will be required to complete an application form. If accepted, you will be sent a confirmation email with a private link to submit your registration fee and confirm your conference attendance.
WHY DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?
The application is meant to inquire about your background, interest in the conference, and what you bring to the Afghan-American Conference community. Because of widespread interest and venue constraints, we must cap the number of participants to ensure there is sufficient space, food and materials so that AAC is a quality event for every single attendee. We have also found that attendees who spend time and effort on the questions posed in the application come to the conference better prepared to discuss the difficult issues we face as a community.
WHO REVIEWS MY APPLICATION, AND WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?
Members of the Organizing Committee will review all applications. The ideal candidate is one who demonstrates passion for our Afghan-American community, critical thinking about difficult issues impacting our diaspora and a willingness to engage in respectful dialogue. The application is meant to inquire about your background, interest in the conference, and what you bring to the AAC community. Click here to read examples of successful answers from previous participants.
WHEN WILL I HEAR BACK?
The Afghan-American Conference has a rolling admissions policy. Applications will be reviewed in three batches and candidates will be admitted on an ongoing basis. Applicants will either be accepted, rejected or placed on a waitlist. Space is limited and we anticipate a high number of applications this year. We advise applying as early as possible to ensure your application is given priority.
|Deadline to apply||Notification by|
|Round 1||January 1, 2017||January 30, 2017|
|Round 2||January 16, 2017||February 13, 2017|
|Round 3||February 1, 2017||February 28, 2017|
Please note that the final deadline to submit applications is February 1, 2017. Don’t wait until then, because spots may be filled!
TRAVEL & LODGING
WHAT IS THE BEST AIRPORT TO FLY INTO FOR THIS CONFERENCE?
Ronald Reagan Airport (DCA) or Washington-Dulles (IAD)
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS?
Check back soon!
WHY HOLD THE CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.?
The D.C./Northern Virginia area has had a long history of serving the Afghan community through prominent government, religious, cultural, and sporting events. There is a nearly unmatched level of Afghan-American engagement in the D.C. Metro area and we look forward to bringing the conference to George Washington University. We’re thrilled to provide an opportunity for Afghans nationwide to experience what Washington, D.C., has to offer.
COST, WAIVERS, AND REFUNDS
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO ATTEND?
Young Professionals $120
One-Day Pass (Saturday or Sunday):
Young Professionals $90.00
There will be a $25 late fee for individuals who do not register by the deadline in their acceptance email. After this second deadline, applicants forfeit their spot for the conference. Please note that there is no fee to submit the application.
The registration fee will help us provide you with a comprehensive and professional conference experience. Your fees will cover your food and beverage, conference materials, speaker costs and organizational costs over the course of the three days. A small portion of each fee will also go towards ensuring successful future AAC programming.
WHY HAVE FEES INCREASED THIS YEAR?
We have tried our best to keep costs low without jeopardizing the quality of the conference. The conference fees do not cover the entire cost per person; the expenses not covered by the fees will be covered by our fundraising efforts.
ARE THERE ANY FEE WAIVERS AVAILABLE?
We are offering a limited number of fee waivers based on extenuating circumstances. Fee waivers are only available for individuals who have been admitted to the conference. If you are accepted to attend, more information will be provided in your acceptance email.
WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY?
Refunds will be issued under the discretion of the conference organizers. Requests for refunds that are approved through March 15, 2017 will receive a full refund, less a $25 processing fee. Refunds requested after this date will not be issued unless a special request is made under extenuating circumstances.
HOW DOES AAC USE FUNDS RAISED THROUGH REGISTRATION MONEY AND DONATIONS?
Funds are used to cover food, venue, entertainment, supplies, etc. Remaining funds are used to support year-round projects and initiatives. Some of AAC’s events and initiatives include: AAC Task Forces, post-election discussions, Night of Giving fundraisers, launch parties and reunions, and other community-building events held throughout the country.
CAN I APPLY IF I’M NOT FROM THE USA?
Yes. Although the topics and issues discussed will pertain to the Afghan-American experience, we have had past attendees from Canada, Germany, and Afghanistan bring valuable insight to our conference. However, priority will be given to those applicants who identify as Afghan-American.
I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION NOT LISTED HERE. CAN YOU HELP ME?
Yes! Please send us an email at email@example.com with your question.