Mark Kabban is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, and educator with over twelve years’ experience. He is engaged in the critical study of orientalism, colonialism, and empire, which he believes is necessary to collectively understand the inequities of the 21st century. This is matched by a knowledge of teaching and pedagogy, executive coaching, and the leadership domains required to translate visionary ideas into real-world success. Kabban founded Yalla SD, an NGO whose mission is to provide liberatory education for refugee youth in the US. To date, Yalla graduates have earned just over $5 million in college scholarships and served approximately 2500 students-88% of which have been accepted into four-year universities.
Kabban has received recognition for his leadership: Do Something.org named Kabban as one of the top five best young world-changers, and in 2012, CNN Heroes recognized Kabban as an International Hero. Kabban has spoken at TEDx twice, been featured on BBC, UNHCR, NPR, Disney, and ESPN. He spent a year working on a project to advise Sesame Workshop on their Syrian Refugee initiative, eventually becoming the 200-million-dollar Sesame Seeds Refugee program. He is currently writing case studies about the Lebanese education system for the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has also designed experiential learning pedagogy for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the School of Public Health’s international field experience courses. Kabban received his master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he is currently finishing his doctorate.