Speaking Programs


In the past year, Isabella has been invited to lead workshops and give guest lectures at over 100 university and college campuses throughout the US and around the world. Some of her most recent visits include: Duke, Brown, UCLA, Washington & Lee, Northwestern, William & Mary, Morehouse, CUNY, Spelman, and Oxford.


Isabella has designed a series of workshops specifically for youth audiences and has been invited to give guest lectures for elementary and high school students throughout the US. Her youth programs focus on bringing human rights education into the classroom and building relationships across difference by connecting youth in the US with those trapped in migrant and refugee camps around the world.


In recent months, Isabella has been invited to give research presentations at annual conferences for The American Anthropological Association, The African Studies Association, The Society for Applied Anthropology, The Middle Eastern Studies Association, and The American Institute for Maghrib Studies.


At the 2019 United Nations General Assembly in New York, Isabella was invited to give a research presentation on the status of women and children in the global migrant and refugee crisis to an audience that included representatives from all 193 member states.


Isabella was joined by Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson for her keynote address on Africa’s unseen migrant crisis at the National Center for Civil & Human Rights on World Refugee Day this year. Other recent addresses have brought her to the Creative Visions Foundation, The Art Farm, and pop-up stages along the US-Mexico border.


At the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Isabella was invited to give the keynote address on conflict and reconciliation to an audience of 10,000. Other recent addresses have brought her to Ebenezer Baptist Church, the home of Martin Luther King, Jr., and St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Atlanta’s oldest African American parish.

Listen as Isabella delivers the keynote address at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto.


Isabella delivers dynamic addresses for large audiences and leads intimate workshops, guest lectures, and film screenings for smaller groups. Each program is custom-designed, with attention to group size, age range, and special interests. She incorporates creative multimedia and interactive segments to keep audience members engaged from start to finish. Below are some of the most popular programs that Isabella has offered in cities throughout the US and across three continents in recent years.


Who Has the Right to Human Rights? (A Brief History of International Human Rights Law)

Migration in the Age of Border Externalization

The Untold Story of Africa’s Migrant “Crisis”

Black by Nationality: The Role of Race in Immigration & Asylum Law

Creative Activism: The Role of Art in Positive Social & Political Change

Activism in the Academy

Millennials & the Search for Purpose


Documentary Filmmaking 101: The Art of Visual Storytelling (1 day intensive or 1 week workshops available)

Ethnographic Research 101: Stories as Sacred Text (1 day intensive or 1 week workshops available)

Social Media for Social Good: Building a Social Impact Campaign (1 day workshop)

Beyond the Classroom: Designing Community Engaged Curriculum for High School & College Students (1 day workshop)

In Their Words: The Practice of Community Filmmaking (1 day workshop)

The Question of Ethics in Documentary Filmmaking (1 day workshop)

The Question of Ethics in Anthropology (1 day workshop)

Stronger Together: Diversity Training for Workplaces & Campuses (1 day workshop)


The Burning: The Untold Story of Africa’s Migrant “Crisis``

Isabella is currently scheduling a limited number of pre-release screening events for this film. If you are interested in bringing the untold story to your community or campus, please send a message to [email protected]


“When I first read about Isabella’s work, I called my assistant and asked him to invite her to join me for lunch. I had to know more. Isabella has a long history of working to uncover human rights abuses around the world and through her latest film, The Burning, she brings our attention to a part of the world that is often overlooked. Her unique style of storytelling teaches us that even in the millions, there is always the story of one. I believe The Burning will succeed in humanizing the stories of individuals who are trapped at the heart of our global migrant crisis, and in doing so, it will make it harder for us to turn away from the masses. It has been an honor for me to get to know Isabella and support her tireless work to tell the untold stories that are hidden at our world’s most critical border crossings.”

– Former President Jimmy Carter

“I’ve worked closely with hundreds of passionate storytellers over the years, but rarely have I met anyone with the intellectual capacity, the personal charisma, and the raw talent that Isabella possesses. I’m continually struck by her natural storytelling ability, her deep understanding of the sociopolitical issues informing her films, and her ability to design awareness campaigns with wide-reaching impact. She is not your typical filmmaker. With her history of work at the UN and over a decade of experience in the field of international human rights, she has what it takes to realize the impressive social impact goals of every project she takes on.”

– Kathy Eldon
Founder & Executive Director, The Creative Visions Foundation

“Isabella is one of her generation’s leading voices in the fight for civil and human rights. She has more heart, more brains, more courage, and more determination that any other young leader I’ve had the privilege of meeting, and it’s been my honor to work alongside her. I thank God Isabella has chosen to devote her life to fighting for those who have no voice, and I know that no amount of struggle or sacrifice is going to stand between her and her fight. She is a true freedom fighter, and through the power of storytelling, she is changing the world.”

– Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson
Leading Civil Rights Activist

“Isabella brings a courage, a determination, and a natural storytelling ability that remind me of myself when I was first beginning my career. Her debut film, The Burning, is set to expose the human side of our our world’s biggest humanitarian crisis and it will forever change the way audiences see migration. This is only the beginning of her career as a powerful new voice in the world of documentary film.”

– Joe Berlinger
Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker

“Isabella’s work depicts migration journeys like never before. She gives migrants a powerful voice to narrate their own struggles and triumphs on the global stage, and she pushes her audience to walk a mile in their shoes. I thank Isabella for showing us that we all have the power to make our world a better place. Her work will leave you questioning: How am I using my power?

– Matilda Arhin
President, Ghana’s International Chamber of Commerce

“Isabella’s latest documentary film on the African migrant and refugee crisis is a true tour de force. She invites audiences to step inside of one of the most complicated political issues of our time and learn from the experiences of those who are trapped at its core. The Burning should be required watching for all politicians across Africa and the EU!”

– Dr. Oussama Cherribi
Award-Winning Author and
Former Member of the Dutch House of Representatives

“Though her powerful and eloquent storytelling, Isabella reveals just how deeply she knows and cares about our global migrant and refugee crisis. In sharing her knowledge, she will make you care, too.”

– Raquel Salvatella de Prada
Professor of Visual Arts, Duke University

“Isabella’s latest book and film on our global migrant crisis are part of a brave and powerful project. I learned an enormous amount from her recent university visit – in a way that took me far beyond familiar headlines. The Burning is raw, but it’s also deeply respectful of migrants and their struggles. This is visceral, thoughtful filmmaking at its best.”

– Dr. Jonathan Glasser
Professor of Anthropology, College of William & Mary

“Dr. Alexander-Nathani recently led the Annual Social Justice Forum at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, the oldest African American parish in Atlanta. It is no understatement to say that we were all left speechless by the stories she shared. Everyone needs to hear these stories from the heart of our migrant and refugee crisis. Especially at this moment in our world’s history.”

– Tramell Alexander
Director of Social Justice Ministries, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

“Dr. Alexander-Nathani has spent her career on the frontlines, exposing human rights abuses around the world, and she has dedicated the past years to educating the world about the inhumane treatment of African migrants trapped at Europe’s southernmost borders in North Africa. Her work calls on us to defend universal human rights and dignity for all. Her personal conviction inspires and challenges us to rise to action. Dr. Alexander-Nathani has moved me to see that our foreign policy should not be foreign to our values and we must unite in our fight for justice if we want to save our collective humanity.”

– James Gomez
Director of International Affairs, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

“Isabella Alexander’s latest documentary film, The Burning, gives humanity to the migrant and refugee crisis. In watching it, audiences will learn, will feel, and will see pieces of themselves in the brave individuals whose journeys are shared. My hope is that this story will be shared far and wide.”

– Sue Schroeder
Artistic Director, Core Dance

“The moving human stories shared in the The Burning provided my students with an inspiring example of the power of documentary film. Dr. Alexander has masterfully captured the intimate dimensions of one of the most pressing humanitarian crises of our time. The Burning engages both students and public audiences, demanding that the stories of the individuals and families trapped at our world’s most critical borders are indeed the stories of our globalized human condition.”

– Dr. Matthew Reilly
Professor of Anthropology, City College of New York

“Isabella Alexander’s work is unique in the way it gives migrants’ the power to tell their own stories. She carefully connects her research back to the migrant communities at the heart of our global crises, and their stories will evoke powerful reactions in audiences around the world. Her work and activism is one of connection and collaboration in a world increasingly limited by fear and nationalism.”

– Johannes Kleiner
Director of Civic & Community Engagement, Emory University

“MY INSPIRATION. Dr. Alexander-Nathani was the reason I wanted to be an anthropologist. But no matter what you’re studying, everyone leaves their semester with her wanting to be a better human. Taking a class with her is truly a life-changing experience. She makes you feel empowered to change the world.”

– Farah Al Chammas
Student, Emory University

In her debut book, Burning at Europe’s Borders, Isabella Alexander-Nathani addresses what is now universally known as the African migrant crisis—one of the greatest humanitarian issues of our time—from a perspective that is rarely given voice. Much has been written about migration in recent years, but regarding the often overlooked experiences of Black Africans, no study is as thorough, intellectually rigorous, or socially impactful. Just as this book gifts us a composite picture of migration in the modern era by privileging the voices of migrants themselves, it also presents a searing indictment of European nations and the human rights conventions they established. Burning at Europe’s Borders is a gripping ethnography told in language as beautiful and poignant as the strivings of its subjects. No curriculum that touches on human rights in the contemporary world will be complete without it.

– Dr. Mohamed Kamara
Professor of African Studies, Washington & Lee University