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 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 is in early-planning stages. Location details will be finalized soon.
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 for an example.
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). Please stay tuned for more information about presenting at the 2019 conference.
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 2019 conference and will be posting more information soon.
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.
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.
COST, WAIVERS, AND REFUNDS
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO ATTEND?
Young Professionals $145
One-Day Pass (Saturday or Sunday):
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your question.