Thanks for joining us for Facing Race 2022. See you in 2024!

Mehrdad Azemun

Senior Strategist | People's Action
Pronouns: he/him

Mehrdad Azemun has nearly 20 years of experience running electoral and legislative campaigns with grassroots leaders at the local state, and national level. His roots are in the immigrants rights movement and community organizing. He has run the grassroots organizing machines for 2 different national immigrant justice campaigns. Before that, he was Organizing Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Mehrdad is an immigrant from Iran. Most recently, Mehrdad worked with People’s Action member organization to design and execute a Deep Canvass on immigration and race that focused on conflicted voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Running *Towards* Race and Immigration on the Doorstep: using Deep Canvassing and Race Class Narrative to win in rural communities and red states

The conventional wisdom in political circles is that we have to run away from race when we talk with voters. This has allowed the far right to fill up all of the space and define the conversation about race and about immigration, especially in the Trump era. The results for our collective movement have been disastrous, as the narrative about communities of color has become even more toxic and treacherous. What are we to do as organizers, especially as we look beyond the 2020 elections?

The good news is that when we contest for space and meaning, our narrative will win – even in the places we think are the hardest to break through. Based on over 3,000 Deep Canvass conversations with conflicted voters in rural areas in red/purple states, grassroots organizations of People’s Action have demonstrated that we can lead with our values and stories and break through to victory.

Join this breakout and training session to learn about Deep Canvassing, using the Race Class Narrative pioneered by Anat Shenker-Osorio. Participants will learn the foundations of Deep Canvassing, hone a script, practice their own Deep Canvass skills and reflect on how they could bring these skills home. Organizers and canvassers from Pennsylvania Stands Up and Down Home North Carolina will help lead the training session.

Speakers: Mehrdad Azemun, Anat Shenker-Osorio, Mahsima Hallaji, Dominic Holmes, Steve Deline

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Organizing Across Cultures for Immigration Reform

The south remains a bastion of white supremacist, capitalist and patriarchal domination.  Its legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, conservative organizing, and deep investment in the Mass Incarceration system has been extended by the recent wave of anti-immigrant policy-making.

On the front lines of this onslaught are Black and Brown communities - Immigrant and US born.  These families and communities are being torn apart by Mass Incarceration, Immigrant Detention, and Deportation. 

Join this workshop to find out how these communities – including families themselves – are fighting back, while simultaneously developing strategies to help advance our cause even farther.

Speakers: Mehrdad Azemun, Tia Oso, Rosa Calderon