Keynote Speeches

About the Speeches

gatekeeping- divisiveness of exclusion

Dayna Ash

Within the feminist movement, we have learned that the power and capacity of solidarity, sharing, and open-source access enable collective knowledge and resource mobilization which act as a powerful and frightening possibility to those that hold the power, wealth, and land.

Dayna Ash is an intersectional feminist, cultural activist, writer, and the founder & Executive Director of Haven for Artists, an unapologetic cultural feminist organization working at the intersection of art and activism. They were named one of the BBC’s 100 most inspirational Women in 2019, awarded the Woman of Distinction award in 2020 by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, and Leader in LGBT Health Equity award from the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health in 2021 for advancing LGBTQ wellbeing in Lebanon. Dayna serves on the Artist Changemaker Advisory Council for the Global Fund for Women, is a Selection Committee Member for The Doria Feminist Fund, and is a Champion for SheDecides+. In 2022, they were named the Intersectional Feminism Advocacy Fellow – The Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut

Decolonizing Knowledge: Towards Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Dr. Vivienne Badaan

Most academic knowledge production follows Western hegemonic systems of inquiry, methodology, and knowledge dissemination. This inevitably produces and reproduces knowledge that is exclusionary, perpetuates oppressive socioeconomic structures, and marginalizes indigenous modes of knowledge production. In this talk, I outline the cycle of colonial academic knowledge, argue why its practices are harmful, and call for indigenizing knowledge production and dissemination by laying out some practical strategies that we can use as scholars to begin this process.

Dr. Vivienne Badaan is a social and political psychologist with a broad interest in social justice and equality. Dr. Badaan received their Ph.D. in social and political psychology from New York University, and they are currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the American University of Beirut. Dr. Badaan enjoys conducting research that is translational, interdisciplinary, and actionable. Their research focuses on collective action (e.g., feminist collective action, student movements), gender injustice (with a focus on the Arab region), prejudice (sexism, racism, sexual prejudice, and religion/sect-based prejudice), and interventions to reduce prejudice (in the field, in the lab, and online).

Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship

American University of Beirut


PO Box 11-0236

Riad El Solh, ​1107 2020
Beirut, Lebanon

Tel: +961-1-350000 EXT. 4469


The Debs Center, 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th floor
New York, NY 10017-2303, USA

Tel: 1-212-583-7600