Christians Witnessing for Palestine

Justice movements and how they coordinate

Commonality of Oppression; Solidarity in Struggle; Liberation for a Better World: Freedom!

Keynote: Khury Petersen-Smith, Ph.D.

Dr. Khury Petersen-Smith
  • Boston-based activist
  • Areas of focus: Black liberation, Palestinian solidarity, and U.S. Empire
  • Co-author and co-organizer of the 2015 Statement of Black Solidarity With Palestine, which was signed by over 1,100 Black scholars, activists, and artists
  • Traveled to Gaza in 2009 with a Viva Palestina medical relief delegation
  • Took part in a 2004 peace delegation to Iraq
  • Has lectured in Australia, Greece, and Switzerland as well as the U.S.
  • Book manuscript in progress: Rocket's Red Glare: An Introduction to U.S. Empire (forthcoming in 2019)
  • Born in Albany; studied in Rochester: B.S., Multidisciplinary Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology (2004)

Listen to the keynote here.

Responses from panelists

Iman AbidIman Abid, Director, Genesee Valley Chapter, New York Civil Liberties Union

Melanie FunchessMelanie Funchess, Director of Community Engagement, Mental Health Association

  • Advocate for healthcare reform
  • Founding member, Coalition for the Beloved Community
  • Participant with Black Women's Leadership Forum, African American Health Coalition, and FR-EE Health Disparities Work Group

Danielle PonderDanielle Ponder, Assistant Public Defender, Monroe County Public Defender's Office

  • Independent Consultant-Community Outreach/Diversity


Co-sponsored by the UR Students for a Democratic Society, this event took place in Dewey Hall on the University of Rochester's river campus on November 8, 2017.