What is the Kurdish National Congress of North America?
The Kurdish National Congress of North America (KNC) is a non-profit, member-driven organization representing Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan living in the United States and Canada. The KNC was founded in 1988, soon after Iraqi chemical weapons attacks on Halabja and other Kurdish cities and villages.
Its objective is to unite Kurds living in North America to work for common goals, to promote the idea of a United Free Kurdistan, and to strengthen the voice of all Kurds living in the USA and Canada. The KNC is a democratic organization.
Its president and board of directors are elected by the members and the organization is governed by a set of by-laws. The KNC encourages open discussion of issues, free speech, and active participation in leadership by its members.
What are KNC’s accomplishments?
Throughout its history, KNC has played a leading role in promoting the Kurdish cause within the United States, Canada and Kurdistan. Some of KNC’s accomplishments include:
- Annual conferences in North America with participation from leading Kurdish and non-Kurdish scholars and politicians
- Organized first International Conference on Kurdish Women for Peace and Equality in Southern Kurdistan on March 2007
- Delivered two shipments of Medical supplies to the Ministry of Health (KRG) worth over $530,000, on November 2006.
- Co-sponsored the first Conference on Democracy & Freedom in Syria & Syrian Kurdish Human and National Rights in Washington D.C. in March 2006.
- Organized first meeting for Eastern Kurdistan (Iran) Political Parties Meet to Form a United Front in March 2006.
- Organized Conference on Kurdish Independence at the University of Sulaimany and Salahaddin University in November 2005.
- KNC & Kurdish delegation from North America, Europe and Kurdistan meet with the United Nations officials in New York on Wednesday, December 22, 2004, and handover copy of two million signatures collected from Kurds in Iraq by the Kurdistan Referendum Movement seeking independent.
- Participation in meetings and round-table discussion with President George W. Bush in Michigan 2003.
- Participation in meetings with Vice President Mr. Richard Cheney, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser, at the White House and Secretary of Defense Mr. Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. Also present at the meeting were Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary, and Zalmay Khalilzad, on March 2003.
- Organized memorial for Halabja massacre and Anfal mass exodus at the U.S. Senate Office Building
- Organize first conference to discuss reconciliation between KDP & PUK in Washington DC.
- Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Genocide against the Kurds in Iraq (1992)
- Worked with State Department and Congress to help establish Voice of America Kurdish Service
- Organization of numerous demonstrations throughout the U.S. and Canada
- Numerous appearances on NPR, Talk of the Nation, CNN, and other well-known U.S. media sources by representatives of KNC
- Press releases for raising awareness on key issues affecting the Kurds
- Organizing of Newroz parties, picnics, and cultural events in local communities through U.S. and Canada
Is the KNC a political party?
No, KNC is not a political party. Because KNC has no affiliations to any Kurdish political party, it is able to promote the agenda of United Free Kurdistan within the U.S. and Canadian government and media. This allows KNC to provide a role in the Kurdish nationalism movement complimentary to Kurdish political parties. Many of the KNC’s members are also supporters of other Kurdish political parties. While the KNC promotes a United Free Kurdistan, it does not object to Kurdish political parties’ agendas that work for federalism or independence of any one portion of Kurdistan as an intermediate alternative. Diversity and a free sharing of ideas between its members are encouraged within KNC.
Which parts of Kurdistan are KNC’s members from?
KNC has members from southern, northern, eastern, and western Kurdistan. Since one of KNC’s goals is to promote a United Free Kurdistan, active membership of Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan is encouraged.
Who can become a member of KNC?
Any person of Kurdish origin or Kurdish parents or parent (mother or father) or spouse of a Kurd is eligible for KNC membership provided that he/she is eighteen years or older. Active members have the right to participate in all KNC meetings and cast votes in elections. Anyone who has been a KNC member for at least a year can run for election to the board of directors.
Where can I learn more about KNC?
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I become a member?
You can fill out a membership form at the conference registration table or by joining online at our website.