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iStand 2019: Hope On the Horizon has ended
Join fellow parents and friends of internationally-abducted children in Washington DC, May 22-24 for iStand 2019: Hope on the Horizon!

The schedule is in development, and we’ll be announcing speakers soon.

Check out past conferences schedules for 2016,  2017 and 2018 and get ready for an expanded and more powerful gathering in May!

Register today!

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Wednesday, May 22
 

8:00am

IPCA Day on Capitol Hill
All parents and guests should meet at the back of the Capitol at 8:30 AM EDT to prepare for pre-arranged Constituent Calls and meetings with key House and Senate staffers for personal cases and cause-related advocacy.  iStand Parent Network is coordinating with each attendee to schedule meetings in advance.


 


Wednesday May 22, 2019 8:00am - 4:00pm
U.S. Capitol East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004
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10:00am

New! Kids & Sibs Track
New this year! The Kids & Sibs Track is for children who've come home, their siblings and the siblings of children who remain abducted. Sponsored by the Delta Social Club at Ohio Valley University and facilitated by the members of  iStand Student Network, the Kids & Sibs track will take kids & sibs of all ages on adventures to DC landmarks, shopping and hanging out for a purpose!  

The schedule is in development and it's going to be awesome!

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:00am - 3:00pm
TBA

4:00pm

Congress United for Action: Strive to Return America's Stolen Children
This event is by invitation only. All attendees must be registered conference participants and have a valid, government-issued form of identification. 

Join fellow parents, returned children, members of Congress, congressional staff and the Coalition to End International Parental Child Abduction for our 2019 Congressional Briefing:

Congress United for Action: Strive to Return America's Stolen Children. 

Congress United  is bipartisan event to educate and empower members of Congress to act for American children and to connect parent-constituents with key congressional actors for their children's cases and for the cause to prevent and end IPCA.

After remarks from our Congressional guests, leadership from the Coalition will share the historical arc of IPCA legislation and federal implementation and underscore the unifying potential for Congress to rally around America's stolen children.
 

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Noelle Hunter

Dr. Noelle Hunter

President & Co-Founder, iStand Parent Network Inc.
Dr. Hunter is the president and co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. Her daughter, Muna, was abducted to Mali in 2011 and returned in 2014 through strong faith, cooperation between the U.S. and Mali and an organized network of family and friends who cried "No Rest!" until Muna... Read More →
avatar for Jeffery Morehouse

Jeffery Morehouse

Executive Director, Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME)
In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Jeffery Morehouse, volunteers much of his time as Executive Director of Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME.org). He is a founding partner in The Coalition To End International Parental Child Abduction. He has worked as an advocate... Read More →
avatar for Ravi Parmar

Ravi Parmar

Co-Founder, Bring Our Kids Home (BOKH)



Wednesday May 22, 2019 4:00pm - 6:00pm
U.S. Capitol S-115
 
Thursday, May 23
 

8:00am

2019 International Parents Conference ~ U.S. Institute of Peace
The International Parents Conference is a full day of workshops and presentations on IPCA prevention and return and domestic and international policy reform. The Keynote Conversation and iStand Awards Luncheon engage participants in a provocative dialogue on IPCA and honors those who work tirelessly to end this crime against children.

Sessions are in development.

Thursday May 23, 2019 8:00am - 8:00am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
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8:00am

iSTAND 2019 International Coffee Hour
We'll kick off the Conference with our International Coffee Hour and Continental Breakfast. It's a time to get acquainted with fellow parents and chat informally with invited guests from the White House, the U.S. Dept. of State, Dept. of Justice and the diplomatic community.


All guests must provide a valid form of identification for entrance to the U.S. Institute of Peace. Please plan to arrive just before 8 am to pass through security checkpoints. 


Thursday May 23, 2019 8:00am - 8:45am
U.S. Institute of Peace ~ Jacqueline and Marc Leland Atrium 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
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9:00am

Welcome Remarks
Speakers
avatar for Dr. Noelle Hunter

Dr. Noelle Hunter

President & Co-Founder, iStand Parent Network Inc.
Dr. Hunter is the president and co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. Her daughter, Muna, was abducted to Mali in 2011 and returned in 2014 through strong faith, cooperation between the U.S. and Mali and an organized network of family and friends who cried "No Rest!" until Muna... Read More →



Thursday May 23, 2019 9:00am - 9:15am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
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9:15am

Now What? Keeping Momentum and Taking Action at Home for America's Stolen Children
Wednesday's Constituent Calls and Congressional Briefing  were excellent opportunities to amplify  our cause on Capitol Hill. However, veteran advocates know the real  reform work occurs when parents return home.  We must keep up the pressure on elected officials, federal agencies and  other stakeholders for long-term, meaningful reform.  Bring Abducted Children Home Executive Director Jeffery Morehouse, Mochi's father and a  longtime advocate will share strategies for keeping the momentum going after we all go home. 


Speakers
avatar for Jeffery Morehouse

Jeffery Morehouse

Executive Director, Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME)
In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Jeffery Morehouse, volunteers much of his time as Executive Director of Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHOME.org). He is a founding partner in The Coalition To End International Parental Child Abduction. He has worked as an advocate... Read More →


Thursday May 23, 2019 9:15am - 9:30am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

9:30am

Session I: Keeping Our Children Safe at Home: IPCA Prevention Roundtable
Preventing International Parental Child Abduction requires a multifaceted, collaborative approach among an array of stakeholders. This session features a panel of agency officials and advocates discussing promising prevention legislation in statehouses,  prevention initiatives in federal agencies and NGOs, and public education strategies to keep children safe from International Parental Child Abduction.


Speakers
avatar for Scott Renner

Scott Renner

Director, U.S. Department of State Office of Children's issues
avatar for Patti Walker

Patti Walker

OCS and CI Liaison at NTC, U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Citizens Services and Children's Issues
avatar for Dr. Noelle Hunter

Dr. Noelle Hunter

President & Co-Founder, iStand Parent Network Inc.
Dr. Hunter is the president and co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. Her daughter, Muna, was abducted to Mali in 2011 and returned in 2014 through strong faith, cooperation between the U.S. and Mali and an organized network of family and friends who cried "No Rest!" until Muna... Read More →
avatar for Farryl Sorokin

Farryl Sorokin

Program Manager, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Farryl Sorokin is Program Manager of Training for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Farryl has ten years of experience with the agency with her previous position as a Supervisor and Case Manager in the Missing Children Division. In this role, Farryl collaborated... Read More →
avatar for Keep Our Kids Home

Keep Our Kids Home

Keep Our Kids Home (KOKH) advocates for stronger, more effective policies and practices that prevent children from becoming victims of International Parental Child Abduction. As every abduction is local, KOKH believes that true prevention reform must occur at the state and local level... Read More →



Thursday May 23, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

9:30am

NEW! Kids & Sibs Track
New this year! The Kids & Sibs Track is for children who've come home, their siblings and the siblings of children who remain abducted. Sponsored by the Delta Social Club at Ohio Valley University and facilitated by the members of  iStand Student Network, the Kids & Sibs track will take kids & sibs of all ages on adventures to DC landmarks, shopping and hanging out for a purpose!  

The schedule is in development and its going to be awesome!


Thursday May 23, 2019 9:30am - 4:00pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

10:30am

Break
Thursday May 23, 2019 10:30am - 10:45am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
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10:45am

Session II Cross Border Mediation in Non-Hague Countries
Parents and advocates of children abducted to non-Hague nations or to nations with weak judicial systems have fewer options to pursue their return through courts.  In such cases, mediation may be an option for gaining access and returns.

The session discusses mediation as an option (where possible and appropriate) to resolve abduction cases. It explores existing resources and practical challenges in conducting cross-border mediation in non-Hague countries.

Speakers
avatar for Rami Zahr, JD

Rami Zahr, JD

Rami Zahr was Senior Case Manager at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). For over twelve years, he successfully managed hundreds of cases involving children abducted to Hague and non-Hague countries. In addition, he developed abduction prevention strategies... Read More →


Thursday May 23, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

12:00pm

iStand Awards & Luncheon
The iStand Awards are our opportunity to honor those who give of themselves in service to the cause to Prevent and End International Parental Child Abduction.  A deli-style lunch will be served.  


Thursday May 23, 2019 12:00pm - 1:15pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

1:00pm

NEW! Legal Track
New this year!

The half-day Legal Track runs concurrent with afternoon general conference sessions. The Legal Track begins at 1 pm, following iStand Keynote Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, and assembles judges, attorneys, mediators and advocates to strengthen connections, share successful legal strategies for IPCA prevention and returns, and identify public policy solutions and legal training opportunities to resolve International Parental Child Abduction.

The Legal Track is by invitation only.

Moderators
avatar for Nadia Eley, J.D.

Nadia Eley, J.D.

Nadia Eley has over a decade of experience in consulting, training and project management for various U.S. Department of Justice national programs. She has worked with federal, state, tribal and local level government, practitioners, and community-based organizations to develop sustainable... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Joel Zuckerman

Joel Zuckerman

Maxwell Barke & Zuckerman, LLC.
Joel is a longtime friend of the cause and attorney for parents with children abducted to foreign nations. He has spoken at several previous iStand conferences and frequently joins the Network for congressional advocacy rounds and other reform efforts.Joel earned a B.S. (Counseling... Read More →
avatar for Molshree A. Sharma

Molshree A. Sharma

partner, Partner Boyle, Feinberg and Sharma Family Lawyers
MOLSHREE “MOLLY” SHARMA, Partner Boyle, Feinberg and SharmaFamily Lawyers Who Mean BusinessMolshree A. Sharma (“Molly) is a savvy, accessible, aggressive and sensitive advocate on behalf of her clients who are facing the various challenges of divorce or the work often arising... Read More →
avatar for Rami Zahr, JD

Rami Zahr, JD

Rami Zahr was Senior Case Manager at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). For over twelve years, he successfully managed hundreds of cases involving children abducted to Hague and non-Hague countries. In addition, he developed abduction prevention strategies... Read More →
avatar for Allison Hollabaugh Parker

Allison Hollabaugh Parker

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission)
Allison Hollabaugh Parker joined the Helsinki Commission in January 2012 as Counsel. Her portfolio includes human trafficking, women's issues, international parental child abduction law and policy, and combating sexual exploitation of children.Allison serves as Legal Counsel to Representative... Read More →
avatar for Preston Findlay

Preston Findlay

Counsel, Missing Children's Division, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Preston Findlay is Counsel for the Missing Children Division of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). In this role he provides legal technical assistance and training to law enforcement, attorneys, family members, and the public regarding international and... Read More →


Thursday May 23, 2019 1:00pm - 5:00pm
B 214/215 USIP

1:15pm

Break
Thursday May 23, 2019 1:15pm - 1:30pm
TBA
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1:30pm

Session III: Cultural, Custom and Community Response to Child Abduction and Separation
Societal and community norms vary about child welfare,  gender and parenting rights, and the role of government in response to child separations.  Cultural and gender bias may further complicate efforts to return and reunite children who have been separated from another parent, whether by unlawful abduction or retention or separation and alienation.   Furthermore, public apathy surrounding these specific child welfare issues must give way to a cultural revolution for children that impact public policy.

Hear how these influences operate in Trinidad and Tobago, and learn how the panelist is overcoming deeply-entrenched norms through public engagement and direct action to educate on the critical role of fathers in their children's lives.

Mr. Feeles will be joined by T&T law enforcement officers to offer additional insight on law enforcement approach to parental separation and alienation in the nations. 


Speakers
avatar for Cpl. Jacey Small

Cpl. Jacey Small

Trinidad & Tobago Police Service
Cpl. Small is an affable and gregarious young man, full of enthusiasm for his work as a community officer in the Central Division, and hopeful about the further achievements that would be obtained with the knowledge he gained from the United States Embassy, and other stakeholders... Read More →
avatar for Rhondall Feeles

Rhondall Feeles

Founder & President, Single Fathers Association of Trinidad & Tobago (SFATT)
Rhondall Feeles is a businessman and Social Activist in Trinidad and Tobago.  He is Founder and President of the Single Fathers Association T&T(SFATT)  and the father of 2 sons. He is currently the Vice President of the T&T Automotive Dealers Association. In 2014 he was appointed... Read More →
avatar for Ravi Bhasin, LCSW

Ravi Bhasin, LCSW

Bring Our Kids Home
Ravi Bhasin is a licensed clinical social worker with cross-cultural clinical social work skills. He is a full-time PhD student at Fordham University. He also provides shared governance in practice & policy development, and advocacy towards social justice. He was born and raised in... Read More →


Thursday May 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

2:30pm

Law Enforcement Reform: Creating a "Real-Life" Training Initiative to Improve IPCA Prevention and Response
This interactive session asks parents to recall their initial and ongoing experiences working with local law enforcement to prevent a child's abduction and seek response for their return.

After inviting feedback , Dr. Hunter will engage participants in building a realistic framework for educating law enforcement as a real-life complement and supplement to a recently updated Law Enforcement Guide on International Parental Kidnapping.

https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/250606.pdf 

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Noelle Hunter

Dr. Noelle Hunter

President & Co-Founder, iStand Parent Network Inc.
Dr. Hunter is the president and co-founder of iStand Parent Network Inc. Her daughter, Muna, was abducted to Mali in 2011 and returned in 2014 through strong faith, cooperation between the U.S. and Mali and an organized network of family and friends who cried "No Rest!" until Muna... Read More →



Thursday May 23, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

3:45pm

Session V : Tech Talk With Leo & Jerry: Using Technology to Build Relationships With Your Abducted Child
Leo and Jerry are the original iStand kids.  Both are home and thriving after unlawful retention and abduction.  Their "Tech Talk" session will explain & demonstrate how online platforms, such as Discord can be utilized to discreetly communicate with your child during their abduction, opening a path of communication and  connection while apart.

Leo's mom and iStand Co-Founder Alissa E. Hindle and Jerry's dad and Jerry's Army Founder Bob Pfeifer will join their sons in this closing session to bring hope to parents still fighting for their children's return.
Bob will also discuss the use of social media to locate missing children, as he did when finding Jerry. 

Speakers
avatar for Alissa E. Hindle and Leo Zagaris

Alissa E. Hindle and Leo Zagaris

Leo Zagaris was unlawfully retained in Greece by his father after a prearranged visitation for summer vacation. His mother Alissa (Zagaris) Hindle fought for almost two years for his return, even after winning all Hague hearings for the child's return. It took the FBI and the Greek... Read More →
avatar for Bob & Jerry Pfeifer

Bob & Jerry Pfeifer

In 2012, my son, Jerry, was kidnapped by his Slovakian mother, who fled to Europe with Jerry and his half brother, Sasha Hummel, both American boys.We have a happy ending. Jerry and Sasha are now home safe. But I cannot forget those who are still looking for their loved ones. There... Read More →



Thursday May 23, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

4:45pm

Marching Orders: Prep for March to 1600 Penn. Ave & Knocking on Doors of Nations 2019 Embassy Walk
We'll end the day with reflections on the Conference, evaluations and final directions for the White House March immediately following the USIP conference and for Friday's Embassy Walk.


Thursday May 23, 2019 4:45pm - 5:00pm
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
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5:15pm

From Our House to the White House: March to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
SCHEDULE CHANGE!

In years, past we've held a moving candlelight vigil for our children on the Wednesday evening of Conference, but this year we are marching to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from the USIP, as we amplify and dramatize our cause to bring our children home and to end IPCA.

Directly after the conference ends, we'll assemble outside the USIP and march to the White House with our signs, raising our voices and calling on the President to care and act swiftly for America's Stolen Children.
It's the best way to end the Conference day and get our hearts and minds centered for Friday's Embassy Walk!




Thursday May 23, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington DC 2006

8:30pm

Post Conference Mixer @ Wundergarten
Back by popular the demand!

We had SO much fun last year! Unwind after Thursday's conference with fellow parents, friends of abducted children and plenty of food, drinks and lawn games at this neat indoor/outdoor  urban hangout.  

Admission is covered for registered conference participants. 



Thursday May 23, 2019 8:30pm - 11:30pm
Wundergarten DC 1101 FIRST STREET NE WASHINGTON, DC 20002
 
Friday, May 24
 

10:00am

Knocking on Doors of Nations: 2019 Embassy Walk
The Embassy Walk is our direct action engagement with representatives where our children are held. iStand is working with conference participants to schedule meetings with embassy personnel. We will walk* to nearby embassies and stand in solidarity while parents go inside to meet.

Parents will get the Embassy Walk route and map at Thursday's International Parents Conference at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Participants should bring posters and images of their children. Posters are available to order through the iStand web store.

*Some embassies are not in walking distance. Participants are encouraged to support fellow parents by sharing Uber rides to those embassies.

 

 

Friday May 24, 2019 10:00am - 3:00pm
Embassy Row Washington DC
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8:00pm

Relax, Relate, Release
The three-day conference is quite intense. Typically ending directly after the Embassy Walk, we find ourselves in a rush to catch flights, beat traffic and get home.   After six years, we've finally learned that sometimes we need an extra day to breathe and let it all sink in. With enough interest*, we will extend the AirBnb reservations through Friday night (optional) and plan a relaxing evening with the iStand family to decompress and reflect on what we did and what is yet to be done for America's Stolen Children.  

*Please indicate this preference on the registration form that will be sent to you when you register. 

Friday May 24, 2019 8:00pm - 11:30pm
TBA