Central to NIIC 2017 are the Plenaries that will take place on the NIIC main stage at the Phoenix Convention Center, West Building. The entire NIIC audience gathers for these sessions, which will address pressing topics of interest and concern to all working on behalf of immigrants and refugees. The NIIC Plenaries feature many prominent speakers – policy, thought and movement leaders, culture makers and artists, journalists and scholars alike. Plenaries take place each on each of the three days at NIIC. For reference, information about the 2016 Plenaries, including video, is here.
OPENING PLENARY: THE ARIZONA STORY: LESSONS FROM ARIZONA AND THE SOUTHWESTSUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2:00PM-3:30PM
Arizona, notorious for some of the most virulently anti-immigrant legislation and leadership in the country and straddling the U.S. border with Mexico, has a long and vibrant history of powerful, innovative organizing to protect and build power within immigrant communities. This plenary will feature some of the most prominent and experienced leaders from across the state to share lessons from the fights to curtail the state’s “show me your papers” law SB1070; defeat Sheri Joe Arpaio, who gained national attention for his cruel and illegal treatment of immigrants; resist deportations; and support those impacted by tensions between the US and Mexico about the border.
- Montserrat Arredondo, Deputy Director, One Arizona
- Petra Falcon, Executive Director, Promise Arizona
- Carlos Garcia, Executive Director, Puente
- Isabel Garcia, Co-Founder, Coalicion de Derechos Humanos
- Alejandra Gomez, Co-Executive Director, Living United for Change in Arizona
- Alfredo Gutierrez, Governing Board Member, Maricopa County Community College
- Warren Stewart, Senior Pastor, First Institutional Baptist Church
BUILDING ALLIANCES IN DIFFICULT TIMESMONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 9:00AM-10:30AM
In the face of the current polarized and anti-immigrant national policy landscape, innovative and even previously “unlikely” alliances are forming in defense and support of immigrants and refugees. This plenary will explore important alliances forged across the business, education, political and faith sectors, from naturalization e orts to deportation defense and more.
- David Adame, Executive Director, Chicanos Por La Causa
- Steven Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition
- Claudia Franco, Consul, Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix
- Michael Rinehart, Bishop, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Rebecca Shi, Executive Director, American Business Immigrant Coalition
- D. Taylor, President, UNITE HERE
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: A YEAR OF FIERCE RESISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY BRINGS US TO 2018MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 12:15PM-1:45PM
The past year has seen truly seismic shifts in US policy and governance on key issues impacting our society, calling into question the country’s continued role as a global leader, and often hitting hardest on vulnerable communities, including immigrants, refugees, indigenous people and all people of color. This plenary will examine several of these major policy shifts – including the Muslim Travel Ban, the Refugee Ban, dangerous infringements on civil liberties, the abandonment of historic commitments on civil rights and racial justice issues, and the abrupt about-face on climate change – and the implications for our advocacy.
- Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Director, Advancement Project
- Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director, United We Dream
- Erol Kekic, Executive Director, Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service
- Esther Lopez, International Secretary-Treasurer, United Food and Commercial Workers
- Kica Matos, Director, Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice, Center for Community Change
- Guy Reiter, Native Organizers Alliance
GLOBAL MIGRATION AND THE RISE OF NATIONALISMTUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 8:30AM-10:00AM
The global economy, war, religious conflict, and climate change are causing people to move, all around the world. This plenary will explore important issues impacting the global migration and refugee crisis, and the rise of nationalist and white supremacist movements. It will look at migrant, refugee, and Muslim led e orts to stand up to hate and rebuild our nation’s commitment to welcome those fleeing violence and religious persecution.
- Zrinka Bralo, Chief Executive, Migrants Organise
- Deepa Iyer, Senior Fellow, Center for Social Inclusion
- Eva Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
- Folabi Olagbaju, Director for Outreach, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
- Stephanie Teatro, Executive Director, Tennessee Immigrant Rights Coalition
- Stephanie Stephens, Founding Campaign Manager, We Are All America
- Daniel Valdez, Senior Regional Manager, Welcoming America
- Eric Ward, Executive Director, Western States Center
CLOSING PLENARY: THE WAY FORWARD: ORGANIZING AND DEMOCRACYTUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 12:00PM-1:30PM
Our work to fully welcome and enfranchise America’s immigrants and refugees is long-haul. Despite the challenges of the present moment, the recent elections tell us there are new and growing opportunities and we have much to lift up from our history in the ongoing organizing for change. This plenary will honor and celebrate some of the most prominent leaders of our movement, drill down on the new electoral landscape and lessons from the elections, and lift up a whole new wave of immigrant and pro-immigrant candidates and newly elected leaders who are helping lead the way to lasting policy change.
- Mehrdad Azemun, National Campaigns Director, People’s Action
- Sayu Bhojwani, President, New American Leaders Project
- Heather Booth, Founding Director and President, Midwest Academy
- Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Senior Member Illinois Delegation, U. S. House of Representatives
- Maria Hinojosa, Executive Producer and Anchor , Latino USA, NPR
- Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder, United Farm Workers; civil rights activist
- Theresa Mah, Representative 2nd District, Illinois General Assembly
- Yaheiry Mora, Senior Policy and Elections Manager, CASA de Maryland
- Robert Moses, Founder and President, The Algebra Project
- Tony Navarrete, Representative, District 30, Arizona State Legislature
- Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights