Bassem Kawar


Bassem Kawar is the Political Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights - ICIRR, a statewide  coalition dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.

Bassem’s background includes community and political organizing with the Arab and Immigrant communities of the southwest suburbs in Chicago and across the U.S. 

Over the years he served as the national Campaign Coordinator for the campaign to Take On Hate and organized with the American Federation of Teachers in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia. 

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from DePaul University where he was a student activist and a campus organizer.



Democracy in Crisis: The Courage to Re-Humanize One Another
This session will dive into Bridging for Democracy (B4D), a project that is developing strategies through which grassroots power-building organizations meaningfully bridge across racial, ideological, and urban-rural divides to strengthen democratic norms at a time of deep social fragmentation and dehumanization. Over the past decade, movement groups in the U.S. have invested heavily in voter outreach and significantly increased civic engagement. However, our democracy has still weakened and fragmentation is hardening. B4D partners have been conducting pilot projects in Illinois, Georgia...