Political Crossroads for the U.S. and Europe on Immigration
The ugly specter of xenophobia is a hot topic in the U.S. presidential election and also across Europe. What strategies can immigrants and refugees use to counter that rhetoric and build political power?
This is the question that two important Alumni Leadership Action Projects have recently begun to address.
In New York, TILN 2015 alumnus Carlos Menchaca, New York City Council Member, and TILN 2014 alumna Gabriele Gün Tank, Commissioner for Integration in Berlin, addressed on December 15 at the National Immigrant Integration Conference. During a special event organized by Sayu Bhojwani, President of the New American Leaders Project and 2015 TILN facilitator, discussants examined opportunities to create a New American movement in 2016 and beyond. The event immediately followed the National Immigrant Integration Conference and was hosted by The New American Leaders Project (NALP) and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC).
While alumni discussed these important questions in New York, another group gathered in Berlin in December on a related topic. For the third year in a multi-year process, GMF provided an Alumni Action Grant to the German alumni of the Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network (TILN) in support of their work in forming the next generation, national level initiative "NILE" (Network Inclusion Leaders). NILE recruits top talent from among young Germans of diverse background from throughout the country for a seminar in Berlin to share inclusive leadership knowledge and training, strengthening the pipeline of young diverse talent in leadership roles. Facilitators from the U.S. bring the transatlantic perspective to this program. Speakers at the NILE event from December 14-19, 2015 included Daniel Gyamerah (TILN ’13), Mekonnen Mesghena (TFMI ’11), Orkan Özdemir (TILN ’14), Gabriele Gün Tank (TILN ’13), Mischa Thompson (’13), and Simon Woolley (TILN ’13).
GMF supported both of these influential exchanges through an Alumni Leadership Action Project mini-grant, providing support for TILN alumni to share transatlantic best practices at a critical time for moving forward leadership for immigrant integration.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.