Know Thy Heritage, Inc.
Leadership Initiative “Explore and Serve Palestine”
The Palestinian Birthright
Shadow Board of Directors
Know Thy Heritage Inc.
Concept / Strategy
Empowering Palestinian Diaspora to Build a Strong and Prosperous Palestinian Nation
Know Thy Heritage (KTH) aims to build a strong and prosperous Palestinian State by empowering the Palestinian Diaspora globally.
We aim to strengthen their knowledge of their Palestinian identity, culture, history, and traditions, as well as their understanding of the Palestinian economic environment, political landscape, social structures, and conditions.
Through numerous KTH Journey iterations, we have successfully increased delegates’ understanding of Palestinian culture, economy and politics, and of the complex social dynamics Palestinians live under.
The journey includes interactive learning opportunities, such as field visits, lectures, and meetings with influential stakeholders. KTH has become a global movement for diaspora Palestinians to serve their nation.
Know Thy Heritage (KTH) seeks to maintain and expand its impact on young diaspora Palestinians worldwide to help them connect, explore, and serve their homeland: Palestine.
Further, we aim to create a network of diaspora leaders who are rooted in Palestinian culture, history, and traditions and are devoted to serving as ambassadors of peace and justice internationally.
The Palestinian diaspora is often referred to as a “sleeping giant” and recognized as having a key role to play in Palestinian state-building. KTH aims to unite these globally fragmented Palestinian communities and support them in fulfilling their role as a critical partner in the development of Palestine.
To date, KTH has successfully embedded over 450 delegates from 22 countries and five continents into our organization. For over twelve years, KTH has collaborated with these young professionals and developed their capacity to give back to the land they were forced to grow away from. Through the KTH Journey program, our organization took delegates to Palestine, where they experienced the harsh conditions Palestinians are subject to and understood the pressing needs of an occupied nation.
This exciting initiative will not only allow KTH to broaden opportunities for diaspora engagement but will also bring us closer to making the Palestinian birthright a reality on the ground.
Our mission is clear, and critical to the advancement of our shared values. We seek first and foremost to galvanize our diaspora network by offering them structured opportunities for meaningful involvement in the development of Palestine.
By 2025, we expect to offer a full program roster that seamlessly integrates Diaspora into the Palestinian national fabric.
Despite the many challenges we face as Palestinians, both at home and abroad, KTH continues to produce bold results in building young Palestinian Leadership globally and now wishes to build upon that success to further engage that have participated in this homecoming initiative.
Taking advantage of the diverse professional backgrounds and skillsets these alumni to bring to the organization, KTH wishes to engage them in advocacy to establish a Palestinian Nation and contribute to the development of Palestine. Their disciplines currently include areas like finance, law, engineering, medicine, communications including traditional and social media, information technology, business, and beyond.
Beyond their professional accomplishments, these delegates share a personal interest in Palestine. They are embedded within Palestine’s most ancestral cities, covering the breadth of Palestinian geography and the depth of its cultural varieties. KTH recognizes that these 450+ alumni represent the diversity of the Palestinian nation. Although spread worldwide, they are eager to contribute to building a nation that thrives in a peaceful and just environment.
KTH aims to provide structure and resources to its alumni network to create tangible opportunities to build a more robust and prosperous Palestinian nation. To do so, this initiative will focus on three core pillars, presented below.
- Strengthen the perpetual link KTH has created amongst diaspora Palestinians and relevant stakeholders living in Palestine, to leverage opportunities that grow Palestine’s economic, social, cultural, and political outlook.
- Empower KTH alumni to reach out to broader diaspora groups and individuals to collaborate and multiply the efforts to build a strong and prosperous Palestinian nation.
- Create networking opportunities to allow alumni and diaspora groups to connect with businesses in Palestine and help them expand and diversify their business opportunities. Facilitate the natural transfer of knowledge and resources to grow beyond their current scope.
- Showcase the Palestinian and diaspora markets and leverage under-utilized resources within these markets to match investments and create win-win opportunities for Palestinian and diaspora investment groups.
- Empower the diaspora to share knowledge and resources and promote learning opportunities within the Palestinian context to increase awareness of their challenges and enable them to speak and act in support of the Palestinian cause.
- Prepare young ambassadors to engage in the political arena as part of the community and work from within the Political system.
- Create opportunities for the KTH alumni to find and encourage supporters to join their mission of building the Palestinian nation.
- Energize and leverage KTH’s young ambassadors to represent their homeland, and promote peace, prosperity, and human rights for all Palestinians.
- Guide young ambassadors’ efforts to support the Palestinian media through visual and print media.
- To harness and develop leadership skills in different fields to build citizen diplomacy and a collective voice that will capitalize on the skills, knowledge, resources, and expertise of Palestinians in the Diaspora, grounded in the fundamental principles that:
- True leadership is service to others, and to something greater than oneself.
- Each Palestinian has a leadership role to play and experience to contribute.
- Ordinary citizens are the most important diplomats and ambassadors, representing Palestine in their own sphere of influence in society.
KTH has outlined two main strategic objectives. The first focuses on taking delegates to their homeland through the KTH Leadership Program. The second is to leverage these knowledge, networks, and skills of this alumnus to fulfill KTH’s organizational mission.
The fulfillment of these strategic objectives requires the establishment of a sound administrative and management structure to lead a robust outreach effort that will create lasting connections between alumni, volunteers, and diaspora members to serve their homeland.
This structure contemplates a network of alumni actively engaged in working committees and a myriad of activities to expand their capacities and target their efforts on the needs of Palestinians living under occupation. KTH believes that through seminars, training and networking activities, knowledge sharing, and other core activities, the alumni will better understand how they can best address the current harsh conditions Palestinians face daily.
KTH can leverage this network’s experiences and connections to multiply efforts for Palestine.
The activities and focus areas outlined below will enable KTH to leverage this untapped alumni network to serve Palestine in tangible ways, including business generation, effective advocacy efforts, and promoting social and political welfare in Palestine.
One of KTH’s largest limitations at present is the lack of dedicated staff to follow up and coordinate core activities within KTH with board members, alumni, stakeholders, and broader groups invested in the Palestinian cause.
Thus, a pressing priority is to hire a dedicated full-time professional to expand KTH’s reach and operationalize the strategic approach within this proposal. Said administrative individual’s sole purpose will be to guide the implementation of this program, in collaboration with the SBoD and other volunteers to advance the three core pillars identified above: connect, invest, and advocate.
KTH has relied on volunteer work to implement most of its strategic imperatives, but it now recognizes the limitations of this approach. Therefore, a dedicated administrative professional must seek to engage alumni in productive ways while also ensuring they have access to tools and resources to expand their influence in broader diaspora groups and other supporters of the Palestinian cause.
Shadow Board of Directors and Committees
KTH has established a Shadow Board of Directors (SBoD) to support the organization. The SBoD comprises younger, new non-executive leaders who provide creative insights and perspectives to drive strategy. They advise KTH’s Executive members on areas such as advocacy, alumni relations, and social media. The members of the SBoD are skilled and talented individuals from the Palestinian diaspora representing numerous countries across the globe. This Board reflects KTH’s effectiveness in capturing diaspora talent and embedding them in initiatives for Palestine.
The SBoD leads the KTH committees – some outlined on the next page – which incorporate high-potential alumni that have demonstrated the interest and capability to grow KTH and expanding their reach beyond its alumnus. KTH strives to strengthen and develop these committees, to contribute to KTH’s programming and the overall vision of building a Palestinian nation.
Some committees, such as the Advocacy Committee, represent KTH’s commitment to positively influencing key stakeholders’ perceptions of Palestine. Others, like the KTH Journey Committee, specifically support KTH’s programmatic offering. All these committees are equally essential to ensure sustainability within KTH’s actions.
With this investment, KTH will provide training opportunities for alumni to ensure they can leverage their current networks and create – for example – business opportunities or fundraising campaigns. KTH also expects to host events and opportunities for the diaspora to connect with Palestinian companies and facilitate mutually beneficial collaborations.
It is crucial that the alumni are aware of the complexities and nuances of Palestinian living standards, and KTH will therefore seek to provide advocacy training opportunities to help actors understand life under occupation and its limitations as they craft solutions – transcending the traditional norms – for Palestine to thrive as a nation.
Below are the committees KTH has prioritized:
- Oversees all external outreach and alumni engagement interactions.
- Scouts and devlops partnerships.
- Fosters alumni engagement and further expansion to broader diaspora groups.
Delegate Recruiting and Interviewing Committee
- Curates and interviews applicants.
- Follows up on pending application items and acts as an essential point-of-contact for applicants.
Advocacy and Education Committee
- Designs and oversees a holistic education strategy to promote learning opportunities for alumni, diaspora, Palestinians, and broad-level stakeholders.
- Manages logistics for KTH Webinar Series.
- Oversees and plans transversal advocacy efforts to positively influence key stakeholders’ perceptions of Palestine.
- Specialized in thematic areas relevant to medical equipment access, vaccination efforts, and information dissemination.
- Keeps a pulse on health developments in Palestine. Following the pandemic, other core medical needs will be identified and supported.
Media and Social Media Committee
- Satisfies the core communicational needs of KTH, and expands its Social Media presence.
- Instrumental in helping KTH become a global and highly influential movement.
Fundraising & Development Committee
- Develops and helps execute the high level strategy for meeting funding goals to support KTH programming needs and expansion.
- Internally establishes fundraising.
- Externally works as a scouting committee to foster mutually beneficial investments and relationships.
- Activities may include (for example) planning fundraising events, writing applications for grants, and outreach campaigns for donations (e.g. from alumni and their relations).
Future Business Leaders of Palestine (FBL)
- Bring business and investment opportunities to Palestine.
- Facilitates information sessions and arranges meetings between businesses.
- Serves as a vehicle for the business and investment arm of the Palestinian diaspora to invest in various Palestinian sectors.
Operations and Digital Enhancement Committee
- Maintains and enhances KTH website and Social Media, as well as platforms for data monitoring and analysis.
- Oversees all photography and videography.
- Provides necessary technical support to all other KTH committees.
Business and Investment Opportunities
KTH wishes to invest in developing future business leaders, and facilitate work to establish a mechanism for the diaspora to invest in Palestinian entrepreneurship and enterprise.
This program will educate diaspora Palestinians about investment opportunities in Palestine and promote the import/export of Palestinian trade products. In addition it will educate Palestinian nationals about the nuance and diversity of the diaspora markets that have been established worldwide.
KTH has already crafted some unique opportunities to materialize this vision, such as the replication of a Business and Investment Conference for Peace to promote innovative financing, banking, stock market investments, real estate investments, and growth of industries such as information and communication technologies (ICT), manufacturing, and tourism.
Beyond promoting investment opportunities, this activity can potentially drive positive impact in areas such as employment and market diversification.
KTH has decades of experience to leverage in connecting disparate actors through strategic public relations strategies, and in building awareness of religious tourism and pilgrimages. This uniquely positions us to stoke investment into Palestinian enterprise and positively affect Palestine’s overall economic growth.
Transversal Advocacy Efforts
KTH has identified its advocacy efforts as a transversal endeavor that should be embedded into every single activity to ensure all stakeholders understand the nature of Palestine, which is currently under occupation and faces many challenges specific to its socio-political background and its geopolitical restrictions.
KTH will leverage their skills and influence of its 450 alumni – and other diaspora and partner organizations – to advocate on behalf of Palestine domestically in numerous countries, and also on the global stage.
KTH has used various formal and informal channels to promote advocacy and will leverage already powerful campaigns through its 15 social media outlets.
KTH will also explore the opportunity to develop relevant partnerships with Palestinian Institutions and Corporations to agree on strategic pillars to empower and expand their mission and core activities. KTH believes in bringing actors together to avoid duplicating efforts while multiplying the reach that an individual institution can have for positive change in Palestine.
KTH is strategically positioned to become the natural bridge between all stakeholders who care and fight for the Palestinian cause, wherever they live. We are driven by the belief that Palestinians around the world share a common vision: The hope of a Palestinian nation, and the relegation of occupation to the books of history.
To achieve this, we aim to impassion and empower the Palestinian diaspora, connect them more closely with all aspects of their heritage and homeland, and build a powerful movement that drives innovation and investment in Palestinian state-building.
The structure and strategy outlined in this document, along with the SBoD and the committees they lead, will be the driving means in seeing this vision to fruition.
We dream of a nation, and with your help we can reach the tipping point and become a movement propelled by the momentum of the many hearts that lived for too long in despair. It will be hard work and slow progress reach that point, and it takes courage to challenge the status quo and change a system built for oppression.
We believe that we can become an unstoppable movement with our vision and your support.
We hope you join our efforts as we build the nation of our dreams.