project goals for the future

1. Employ a full-time staff: The De-Otherize Dialogue Project is currently headed by volunteers and is needing funding to hire a full time staff to scale up local and global events. The vision for the De-Otherize staff is a team of intersectional and interfaith young adults based in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan with affiliates based in the United States and Istanbul. Leadership will be split equally between genders and positions open specifically for LGBTQ identifying persons. Currently we are seeking funding for these positions:

    • Project Director based in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

    • Assistant Coordinator in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

    • Trauma Therapist, Erbil

    • Project Director based in U.S.A.

    • Assistant Coordinator, Istanbul

    • Social Media Coordinator (remote or Erbil)


2. Create a safe event space & free community mental health clinic: we are seeking funding to rent a safe place to gather in Erbil and to fund short term rentals in satellite locations in Istanbul and the U.S. for global solidarity events and campaigns. These spaces will be used for poetry and spoken word events that will be shared through live feeds with audiences around the world, creative workshops for youth and community events that bring people together. This space will also act as a free mental health clinic that will have specific times people can come to have free private sessions in collaboration with therapists and trauma workers both in-person in Erbil and in Western countries via video chat.


3. Storytelling & Media Campaigns: Often journalists and non-profit organizations are paid for the stories and trauma of refugees and displaced youth - the De-Otherize team wants to create a Storytelling Fund to pay people directly to share their stories through poetry, art, videos and interviews. We would also like to create a series of short videos that encapsulate the true personalities, visions and dreams of displaced people


4. Global Dialogue Sessions: Currently the De-Otherizing Dialogue Project runs virtual dialogue sessions that connect American audiences with Middle Eastern youth via video chat. Through this platform we have open and honest dialogue, share poetry and stories and get to know the “other” through conversation. We would like to scale these sessions up by expanding our technological capacity to do live streaming events with wifi hot-spots, video equipment and funding to pay Middle Eastern speakers $30/hour to share their stories.

©2023 by De-Otherize Dialogue Project

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A collaboration with the Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Program


Josie Ygnatowiz