FAQ

Our Frequently Asked Questions will be periodically updated, so please check back often for new questions and answers.

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CONFERENCE Details

 

WHAT IS THE AFGHAN-AMERICAN CONFERENCE?

The Afghan-American Conference is an annual conference for members of the Afghan-American community 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, and S.E.E.D Talks (Supportive Engaged Empowered Diaspora). professional panels, skill-building workshops, roundtable discussions, safe space caucuses, town halls, networking mixers and arts and entertainment.

WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE CONFERENCE BE HELD?

The 2018 conference will take place March 23-25, 2018 at the New York University School of Law.

WHO HOSTS THE AFGHAN-AMERICAN CONFERENCE?

The conference is an annual event hosted by the Afghan-American Community Organization and produced by a conference Organizing Committee. This committee and the many subcommittees that support it  consist of Afghan-American professionals and students hailing from across the U.S.

Please refer to the About Us section of our website to learn more about the Organizing Committee.

WHO IS THIS EVENT FOR?

This conference is open to all individuals who identify as members of the Afghan diaspora. It is targeted to young Afghans who grew up in America, but Afghans of all ages and any diaspora worldwide are welcome to apply. All participants must be over the age of 18 or high school graduates.

WHY DO YOU ENCOURAGE YOUNG AFGHANS SPECIFICALLY TO APPLY?

Our goal is to provide a safe space for up and coming members of our community to come together. We acknowledge that more established members in the community are integral and their wisdom and experiences are invaluable. That is why anyone of any age can apply to attend. However, for now at least, AAC lacks the organizational capacity and resources to organize an event catered to all age ranges. We look forward to supporting and partnering with future initiatives that will help us one day engage ALL members of our community.

WHAT IS THE ITINERARY?

Check out our 2018 Agenda. We will be making updates periodically.

I HAVE GREAT IDEAS. MAY I PRESENT AT THE CONFERENCE?

Yes! Attendees have two options to present: Session Topics and and S.E.E.D Talks (Supportive Engaged Empowered Diaspora).  

Session Topics

Submit your ideas for sessions topics here by 2/5/18: Please note that this form does not replace the AAC Application. Applicants that apply to be facilitators must also fill out an application.

S.E.E.D Talks (Supportive Engaged Empowered Diaspora)

Throughout the weekend, conference participants can give short (5-10 minutes) talks on any topic. Participants interested in giving S.E.E.D Talks will be required to submit a script, audition tape, and if applicable, a PowerPoint presentation.We are always looking for dynamic, accomplished and passionate speakers.Take a look at some of our past speakers here.

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 MATERIALS SHOULD I BRING?

To get the most out of this experience, we recommend bringing notebooks and pens to take notes.

WHICH MEALS ARE INCLUDED WITH THE REGISTRATION FEE?

We are finalizing our food and beverage set-up for our 2018 conference and will be posting more information shortly.

I HAVE SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS. CAN THOSE BE ACCOMMODATED AT THE CONFERENCE?

We will make every effort to offer Halal/Zabiha and vegetarian options. Beyond that, please email us separately with your dietary needs if you are admitted to the conference, and we will try to accommodate as best we can.

DO YOU NEED VOLUNTEERS?

Absolutely. There will be many volunteer opportunities at the conference. To be a volunteer, please select “yes” in the volunteer section on the AAC application.


APPLICATION DETAILS
 

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. The application deadline for AAC 2018 was January 15 at 11:59 pm Pacific.

WHY DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?

The application is meant to provide you with an opportunity to tell us about your background, interest in the conference, and what you believe you would bring to the Afghan-American Conference this year. Because of widespread interest and venue constraints, we must cap the number of participants to ensure that AAC continues to be a quality event for every single attendee. We have also found that an application process is a helpful way to screen prospective attendees and identify those who we believe will come to the conference prepared and willing to engage with their community in a constructive manner. There is no fee to submit the application.

I'M AN ALUM. WHY DO I NEED TO APPLY AGAIN?

Space is limited at AAC, and we want to provide the opportunity for all members of our diaspora to attend the conference at least once. 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 reapply each year. Additionally, the application helps reset intentions every year, and the questions we ask our alumni differ from those we ask of first-time participants.

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 a passion for the Afghan-American community, critical thinking about difficult issues impacting our diaspora and a willingness to engage in respectful dialogue. We are looking for effort, thoughtfulness, passion, and creativity in your application. Click here to read examples of compelling submissions from previous participants.

WHEN WILL I HEAR BACK?

Applicants will hear back regarding their application status no later than February 6, 2018. Applicants will either be accepted, denied, or placed on a waitlist. Space is limited and we anticipate a high number of applications this year. We always advise applicants to put forth genuine thought and effort.

CAN I APPLY IF I AM NOT FROM THE USA?

Yes. Although the topics and issues discussed will pertain to the Afghan-American experience, past attendees have come from Canada, Germany, Australia, Sweden, and Afghanistan. Each one of our participants brings valuable insight to our conference. However, priority will be given to those applicants who identify as Afghan-American.
 

TRAVEL & LODGING
 

WHY HOLD THE CONFERENCE IN THE 2018 LOCATION?

New York City is not only a hub for the entire world, but for our diaspora. Our community has a long, rich history in NYC, specifically Flushing. As we congregate to discuss our identity and our community, where better to do so than a city where so many of our families settled or passed through. The numerous direct flights every day from every metropolitan city in the U.S. also makes it a convenient travel destination.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS?

We have three! We’ve obtained a group rate ($209/night+tax) at three hotels within a mile of the conference (10-15 min. walking distance). When accepted to the conference, you’ll be provided more information on the hotels and how to book under the AAC group rate. This rate will be held for all AAC participants until 2/23/2018.  

WHAT IS THE BEST AIRPORT TO FLY INTO FOR THIS CONFERENCE?  
 

LaGuardia (LGA) is the best airport to fly into. However, you also have the option of flying into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

From Airports to NYU

When arriving at a NYC airport and looking for a taxi, make sure to look for an official taxi stand outside your terminal where you will be given the next available NYC yellow cab. Official drivers do not stand inside the terminal nor ask if you need a cab. The taxi stand dispatcher will help you get a taxi. You can pay a taxi driver with cash or credit/debit card upon arrival. All NYC taxis now have a debit card swipe machine with tip options.

Uber and Lyft are both options you can utilize at LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark.

LaGuardia (LGA) Airport to NYU

  • Taxi and van service is available at LaGuardia. Taxi service is available in front of all terminals. You can call 1 (800)-AIR-RIDE for information on authorized transportation services. LaGuardia fares range from $32 to $37.00 depending on traffic and does not include tolls or tip.
  • For Uber and Lyft, request your car when you’re ready to walk outside. Head outside from arrivals or baggage claim. This is where all ride sharing apps meet travelers for pickup. You’ll need to confirm your terminal and door number so your driver knows where to find you.
  • Take the M60 bus to Astoria Blvd and take the N or Q train Downtown towards Manhattan/Brooklyn and exit at 8th Street NYU

John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to NYU

  • Taxis are available at every terminal. There is a taxi stand where you will be directed to a taxi. There is a Flat Fare program for trips from JFK International Airport to Manhattan. The flat fare is $52.00 plus any tolls. This does not include tip.
  • For Uber and Lyft, request your car when you’re ready to walk outside. Head outside from arrivals or baggage claim. This is where all ride sharing apps meet travelers for pickup. You’ll need to confirm your terminal and door number so your driver knows where to find you.
  • Get on AirTrain ($5) and take it to Howard Beach and then get on the A train Manhattan Bound ($2.75). Get off at West 4th Street

Newark Airport to NYU

  • Taxis are available at every terminal. There is a taxi stand where you will be directed to a taxi. All fares include tolls into Manhattan. The dispatcher for New Jersey taxis gives you a slip of paper with a flat rate ranging from $50-70 (toll and tip extra), depending on where you're going in Manhattan, so be precise about your destination
  • For Uber and Lyft, request your car when you’re ready to walk outside. Follow signs for Ground Transportation and Passenger Pick Up. This is where all ride sharing apps meet travelers for pickup. You’ll need to confirm your terminal and door number so your driver knows where to find you.
  • Get on AirTrain and take it to Newark liberty Airport Station. Then transfer to NJ Transit to New York Penn Station. Then take the 1 train Downtown to Christopher Street        


COST, WAIVERS, AND REFUNDS


HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO ATTEND?

Full Weekend:

Students $95
Young Professionals $145

One-Day Pass (Saturday or Sunday):


Students $60
Young Professionals $90

The registration fee helps us provide conference participants with a comprehensive and professional experience. Your fees cover meals, conference materials, speaker costs, and organizational costs. A portion of each attendee’s fee will also fund year-round programs.  To help keep the conference affordable, we lower our registration fees and fundraise to cover the remaining expenses.

There will be a $30 late fee for individuals who do not register by the deadline listed in their acceptance email. If applicants miss the second, late registration deadline, they forfeit their spot at the conference.

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 SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?

Cost should never be a barrier to attendance. We are offering need-based scholarships to admitted applicants who need financial support to attend. More information will be provided upon admission, during the registration process.


WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY?

Refunds will be issued under the discretion of the conference organizers. Requests for refunds that are approved through March 1, 2018 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 past 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 afghanamericanconference@gmail.com with your question.