iStand 2017: International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk has ended
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Friday, May 5

2:00pm EDT

NEW! Pre-Conference Webinar: Effective Communications for Your Case and for the Cause
Please register for iStand Pre-Conference Webinar on May 5, 2017 2:00 PM EDT at: 


We are pleased to welcome the U.S. State Dept. Office of Children's Issues to the conversation! A representative from Children's Issues will share strategies for interacting with the office and other entities. In addition, feedback from iStand 2016 indicated that parents would like to be better prepared and maximize the time they have with Congressional staff during Wednesday's Constituent Calls.

It's not easy to convey our complex cases in just a few minutes. Typically, staffers are happy to meet with parents, and it's important to present a clear, compelling case, make specific requests for action and follow up.

Join veteran parent advocates, staff from the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for tips and strategies for maximizing IPCA Day on Capitol Hill for your kids and for the cause!

*****Advanced registration required****

*****This webinar is open to registered conference participants******

Friday May 5, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Wednesday, May 10

8:00am EDT

IPCA Day on Capitol Hill
All parents and guests should meet in front of the Rayburn House Office Building at 8:00 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 10, 2017 8:00am - 3:00pm EDT
U.S. Capitol East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004

4:00pm EDT

Congress United for America's Stolen Children: Connecting & Creating Action
This event is by invitation only. 

Join fellow parents, members of Congress, congressional staff and the Coalition to End International Parental Child Abduction for our 2017 Congressional Briefing & Reception: 

Congress United for America’s Stolen Children: Connecting and Creating Action


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.  Questions are welcome.

After the Briefing, guests are encouraged to stay for a reception featuring music, heavy hor-d'ouevres, desserts and bar.


Wednesday May 10, 2017 4:00pm - 6:00pm EDT
Capitol Visitor Center - Congressional Auditorium

9:30pm EDT

From Our House to the White House: Annual Candlelight Vigil
This is our pre-conference "warmer". Please join your fellow parents for the annual White House Candlelight Vigil. We’ll light candles and speak the names our children and others who are abducted or wrongfully retained in foreign nations. It’s a moving tribute to our children and time for reflection on Join us as we Light Their Way Home.

Wednesday May 10, 2017 9:30pm - 10:30pm EDT
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington DC 2006
Thursday, May 11

8:00am EDT

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 Departments of State and 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 11, 2017 8:00am - 8:45am EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace ~ Jacqueline and Marc Leland Atrium 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

9:00am EDT

Welcome & Opening Remarks
The 2016 International Parents Conference & Embassy Walk begins with introductions and welcome by iStand President Dr. Noelle Hunter and representatives from the U.S. Institute of Peace.  

Thursday May 11, 2017 9:00am - 9:15am EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

9:15am EDT

IPCA Prevention and Response: A Coordinated and Comprehensive Law Enforcement Approach
This session helps parents navigate the complexities of returning children through a law enforcement approach. Gaining coordination among agencies is crucial and knowing applicable state and federal laws can help parents build rapport and relationships with agencies who can help.

The distinguished panelists have returned many children home from IPCA and will share stories and suggestions for prevention and return. Don't miss this session!

avatar for Michelle Ford-Stepney

Michelle Ford-Stepney

Supervisory INTERPOL Analyst, INTERPOL - Washington, U.S. National Central Bureau U.S. Department of Justice
Michelle Ford-Stepney serves as a Supervisory INTERPOL Analyst for INTERPOL Washington, U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice. Ms. Ford-Stepney is responsible for managing day-to-day operations and administration within her assigned Division... Read More →
avatar for VS Bruce May

VS Bruce May

Victim Specialist, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Bruce May, LCSW, is the Victim Specialist in the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the largest field office in the nation. He also coordinates the New York Committee on Child Abduction by a Parent, a consortium of law enforcement, judicial entities, social services... Read More →
avatar for SSA Walter Wright

SSA Walter Wright

Supervisor Special Agent (Ret.), U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Walter L. Wright is a former Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in it's New York field office.  During his twenty-five year FBI career, he conducted federal investigations into violent crimes against children, specializing in... Read More →

Thursday May 11, 2017 9:15am - 10:30am EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

10:30am EDT

Thursday May 11, 2017 10:30am - 10:45am EDT

10:45am EDT

Intersections: Family Law, Cross-Border Child Abductions and the International Rule of Law
Parents often are confounded by the complex legal processes necessary to fight for their children in domestic and foreign courts and governments.  This is not a fight parents can win without experienced, sound legal counsel and resources to press the case. 

Join our expert attorneys for a dialogue on legal challenges and opportunities for reuniting children with parents, the complex interactions of domestic and foreign courts and governments, nations' adherence to the Hague Convention on International Parental Child Abduction, and the necessity of international cooperation to prevent and resolve IPCA.   

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). Over the past four years he has participated in over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill on international parental child abduction... Read More →

avatar for Allison Hollabaugh

Allison Hollabaugh

Counsel, Commission on security and cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission)
Allison Hollabaugh 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 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 →

Thursday May 11, 2017 10:45am - 12:00pm EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

12:00pm EDT

Keynote Luncheon: Alison Shalaby, CEO, reunite International Child Abduction Centre, UK
Our Keynote Conversation is with Alison Shalaby, CEO of reunite International Child Abduction Centre in the UK.  Ms. Shalably traveled across the pond to share this inspiring, parent-driven model of sustainable, effective engagement and empowerment. It's a conversation 30 years in the making!

started life in 1987, a parent support network formed by parents all trying to navigate their way through the legal minefield of international parental child abduction.  Over the years reuinite evolved and developed into an information and resource center.  

In 1999, the organization became reunite International Child Abduction Centre and is recognised as the leading UK charity specializing in international parental child abduction and the movement of children across international borders.
reunite operates the only telephone advice line in the UK offering practical, impartial advice, information and support to parents, family members, and guardians who have had their child abducted, as well as parents and guardians who may have abducted their child.  

reunite provides advice, information and support to parents who fear their child may be at risk of abduction and assists and advise in international contact issues and cases of ´permission to remove´.  

Committed to raising the profile of international parental child abduction on the international stage, reunite organizes and attends conferences across the world to promote its work, raise awareness of international parental child abduction, and foster close working relationships with governmental and non-government organizations,to better enable a quick resolution in cases of child abduction, that focus on the best interests of children.  

reunite works closely with the U.K. Ministry of Justice, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Home Office and provides specialist training for government departments, lawyers, academics, the police, and others who have a professional interest in international parental child abduction.

avatar for Alison Shalaby

Alison Shalaby

Chief Executive Officer, reunite International Child Abduction Centre

Thursday May 11, 2017 12:00pm - 1:15pm EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

1:15pm EDT

Thursday May 11, 2017 1:15pm - 1:30pm EDT

1:30pm EDT

Planning for Reunification: Finding Strength and Resources in the Meantime
It takes resources and grit to continue living, working and fighting for your children's return.  In this interactive panel, parents can further develop both.

The National Missing & Exploited Children is a strong ally for parents of internationally abducted children, and Victims Assistance Specialist Shannon Traore is well known by many of us.  Learn about resources that may be available to parents who must travel overseas seeking their children's return.  

Using a variety of technique’s including mindfulness, cognitive behavioral and reframing, Dr. Daniel Pacheco willhelp individuals learn to learn and develop new coping skills to help deal with life stressors.

avatar for Dr. Augusto Frisancho

Dr. Augusto Frisancho

I love Raymi, Amaru and Ork'o more than anything in this world.

avatar for Daniel Pacheco, MD

Daniel Pacheco, MD

"Daniel Pacheco, MD is a board certified internal medicine physician, masters level trained mental health therapist and nationally known speaker on topics of stress management, creating well-being and overcoming adversity. He has presented to numerous medicalconferences, hospital... Read More →
avatar for Shannon Traore

Shannon Traore

Family Advocacy Specialist, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Shannon Traore is a family advocacy specialist within the Family Advocacy Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. At NCMEC, Shannon is responsible for helping families locate local services when there is a missing or sexually exploited... Read More →

Thursday May 11, 2017 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

3:00pm EDT

Special Guests Betty and Mahtob Mahmoody: From "Not Without My Daughter" to Now
iStand Parent Network is honored to welcome special guests Betty and Mahtob Mahmoody, whose story was chronicled in the 1991 film, Not Without My Daughter, starring Sally Field. 

Based on Betty's book of the same title, the movie chronicles the deceptive means in which they were lured to Iran and their dramatic escape.  Parents of abducted children are often told their stories sounds like that "Not Without My Daughter" movie.   It's a popular culture reference that helps people understand International Parental Child abduction.  

It's time to update the narrative with Betty and Mahtob. Betty is a longtime advocate for IPCA reform. Mahtob Mahmoody, recently released a memoir of her experience and her journey to forgiveness and trust. Both have written memoirs and share their experiences to inspire others to forgiveness and action.

avatar for Betty Mahmoody

Betty Mahmoody

BETTY MAHMOODY In August of 1984, Michigan housewife Betty Mahmoody went to Iran with her husband and four year old daughter Mahtob Mahmoody, on a two week trip to visit his family in Tehran. However, once the two weeks were over, he refused to allow them to leave. Betty Mahmoody... Read More →
avatar for Mahtob Mahmoody

Mahtob Mahmoody

Mahtob Mahmoody was born in Texas in 1979 on the cusp of the Iranian revolution and in the midst of a hurricane.  Her parents were an American woman from a small Midwestern town and an Iranian-born but American-educated doctor.  A life that began amid storms and conflict seemed... Read More →

Thursday May 11, 2017 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

4:30pm EDT

Marching Orders: Prep for ~ Knocking on Doors of Nations 2017 Embassy Walk
Get final Embassy Walk map, meet up location and posters (for those who ordered) for the 2017 Embassy Walk. 

Thursday May 11, 2017 4:30pm - 4:45pm EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

4:45pm EDT

Now is the Time: Organizing to Bring Them Home
Now is the time for parents and families of abducted children to organize and work together to end this problem.  Historically, upheaval of the social order was always precipitated by people who organized into goal-directed action.  

The Women's Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, even the movement that ushered in the new presidential administration all happened from a public groundswell of pressure, persistence, and solidarity.

Parent Advocates Jeffery Morehouse and Noelle Hunter will recap the day by identifying elements from these historic movements that are present in the growing IPCA movement, help participants locate themselves within it, and suggest ways to effectively organize for reform. 

avatar for Noelle Hunter

Noelle Hunter

President, 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). Over the past four years he has participated in over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill on international parental child abduction... Read More →

Thursday May 11, 2017 4:45pm - 5:00pm EDT
U.S. Institute of Peace - Farooq Kathwari Amphitheatre 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

8:30pm EDT

Rise Up! Music, Art and Action for Abducted Children
New this year!  

Unwind after Thursday's conference with live music, poetry and art at Busboys & Poets. Join parents, friends and special guests for an enjoyable evening of entertainment and egagement as we build a movement!

Randall Murphy: Shine The Light (vocals, guitar)

Randy Murphy’s children, Hannah and Ryan, were taken to Canada in 2012. They remain abducted. Randy is iStand co-founder. He composed an original song, “Shine the Light”.

Zameer: Artist/Activist

Featuring: "Na Rukenge" "We Won't Stop", Zameer is an activist/artist who recorded the original song with vocals by Left-Behind parent Nidhi Sharma.  It is our understanding that they will premiere this song at the event.

Stephan Said: Artist/Activist

Stephan is Noluenn’s dad. She is abducted to France. He recently traveled to several countries and recorded music with refugees. He will perform his original work. He has a docuseries, Borderless, filmed in refugee camps in several countries.

 Uriah Marcellus: Visual Artist

Uriah painted and donated “Come Together” for a door prize and will LIVE PAINT a piece while artists are performing. We will auction off his live paint at the end of the evening.

 Admission is covered for registered conference participants. Hors d'oeuvres.  Cash bar.  

Thursday May 11, 2017 8:30pm - 11:30pm EDT
Busboys & Poets 1025 5th Street NW Washington, DC 20001
Friday, May 12

10:00am EDT

Knocking on Doors of Nations: 2017 Embassy Walk
The Embassy Walk is our direct action engagement with representatives where our children are held. Embassy Walk participants should meet at the Gandhi statue outside the Indian Embassy to begin the walk. 

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.

The meeting coordinates will be given at the May 11 Parents Conference. 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 12, 2017 10:00am - 2:00pm EDT
Embassy Row Washington DC
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