Dear AROC community members and allies,

We are extremely pleased to announce that Lara Kiswani will be joining AROC as Executive Director beginning August 1, 2012.  A Bay Area native, Lara has been involved in community activism for many years.  She brings with her the talent, experience, and vision necessary for helping lead AROC’s fight for racial and social justice for our communities.

Lara Kiswani is a Palestinian raised in the Bay Area.  She has organized with antiwar, immigrant rights, feminist, community, youth and student organizations.  She also worked as a youth and adult educator in nonprofits and schools.  Lara completed her undergraduate studies at UC Davis, majoring in International Relations with an emphasis on Peoples and Nationalities, also helping to establish the Middle East South Asia minor.  She earned an MA in Education at SFSU where her research focused on Palestinian American youth identity, language and decolonization.

“I am so excited for this new phase of AROC, and the energy and enthusiasm that Lara will bring to the organization.  She has already shown a commitment to the organization and our mission, and is going to be an incredible addition to AROC’s team.  I know that the AROC Collective will thrive with her addition and I’m looking forward to working with Lara on the Collective as I leave my position as Director and transition to a new role within AROC.” Lily Haskell, AROC’s Program Director

AROC has been in a careful 8-month planning process for this transition. Moving into the summer, Lara will be joining AROC staff, Collective, and Members at meetings and community events. Starting on August 1st, Lara and Lily will work together to ensure a smooth transition in the AROC office.  We will be planning a “meet and greet” event and will keep you posted on the date. During this transitional time, we invite questions and support from our wider AROC community.

AROC has invited several community leaders to join our Collective as a Transition Team for a 6 month period to help advise and support Lara and the AROC staff.  These are individuals who have supported AROC over the years, or are former Collective members, and offer skills or experience that will help the organization continue to thrive.  We encourage you to contact any of the current Collective members/staff or our new Collective Transition Team if you have any questions.

“I am eager to continue my work with AROC in my new capacity as executive director.  Having been active in the organization, I admire its solid political vision and its commitment to grounding itself in the struggles and experiences of communities. I look forward to contributing to this work and building on these efforts with the AROC staff and collective.” Lara Kiswani, incoming AROC Executive Director

We look forward to your support in this new phase of our work and encourage your involvement!

In unity,

AROC Collective

AROC Collective

Miriam Zouzounis

Amria Ahmed

Ashwak Hauter

Sami Kitmitto

Alia Ghabra

Lubna Morrar

Ramsey El-Qare

Christina Nesheiwat

Lily Haskell

Collective Transition Team

Heba Nimr

Senan Khairie

Maherah Silmi

Reem Assil

Ramiz Rafeedie

Nancy Hormachea

Nadia Babella

Rama Kased

Monadel Herzallah

Please contact the AROC office at 415.861.7444 for contact information of any individuals listed, or for other information.