The BGSU Department of Ethnic Studies and the School of Cultural and Critical Studies presents "Immigrants and Ohio's Welcoming Initiatives" as the theme for Immigrant Ohio 2019.
Five panels will address the topic throughout the daylong symposium that starts at 9:30 a.m. with opening remarks. The symposium is free and open to the public.
"Ohio's Welcoming City Initiatives: A Brief History" will begin at 9:45 featuring speakers Brittany Ford of Welcome Toledo Lucas County, Elizabeth Cusma of Global Cleveland, Bryan Wright of Cincinnati Compass, and Guadalupe Velasquez of Welcoming City/Columbus.
The second panel, focused on "Emerging Welcoming City Initiatives," welcomes Soni Vyas of Sandusky and Kamala Mojabeng of Bowling Green. The session will begin at 11:15 a.m.
After a lunch break, "Immigrants and Ohio's Economy" will be discussed starting at 1 p.m. Panelists include Kirk Jones, State of Ohio Office of Opportunities for New Americans; Nadia Kasvin, U.S. Together of Columbus; and a representative of Welcoming America.
Panel 4, which will address "Legal Challenges Facing Immigrants," will begin at 2:30 p.m. Speakers include Reem Subei, an attorney for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. in Toledo; Mechelle Zarou, an attorney with Attorney at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP of Toledo; and Nicole Iraola, a Justice for All Fellow through the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation.
The final panel of the day will focus on "Immigrant Community Initiatives." Speakers include Kefa Otiso of New African Commission, Samantha Seals of Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, Mely Aribas-Douglas, Welcome Toledo Librarian, Beatriz Maya of La Conexion, and Natalia Alonso, a Fremont teen who established a grassroots campaign to help children of workers who were arrested in a local mass immigration raid in 2018.