Global Issues Conference

25th Global Issues Conference: Global Migration

Manchester Community College
GPA Community Commons
October 19, 2019
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The number of global migrants world-wide has risen by 100 million in the last two decades; from 173 million in the year 2000 to 271 million in 2019.

If the migrant population were a country, it would be the 4th largest country in the world, behind the US at number 3.

1 in every 28 people world-wide is not living in the country of their birth.

38 million of these global migrants are children.

These numbers are projected to increase.

At this time, when worldwide displacement of human populations is at the highest levels ever recorded, join us to explore the state of global migration and the complex economic, political, social, and environmental factors responsible for the greatest humanitarian crises of our age.

Featured Panelists

Valeria Gomez, J.D.

William R. Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, University of Connecticut.

Valeria Gomez joined the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2018 as the William R. Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, where law students represent refugees who have fled persecution and are seeking protection in the United States. Before joining UConn, Professor Gomez worked in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, with Volunteer Immigrant Defense Advocates (VIDA), a nonprofit legal services organization she co-founded in 2016. As an attorney with VIDA, she represented recently arrived unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings, mentored new immigration practitioners, and gave frequent presentations to community groups.  Professor Gomez’s current areas of study include issues in asylum and refugee law and U.S. border-area and interior immigration enforcement.

Prakash Kashwan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, and Co-Director, Economic and Social Rights Research Group, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut.

Prakash Kashwan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Co-Director of the Economic and Social Rights Research Group, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut. He is the author of Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania, and Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2017). His research focuses on global climate governance, climate justice, political economy of institutions, and environmental policy and politics, more broadly. His scholarship has been published in a variety of interdisciplinary journals, including World Development, Ecological Economics, Regional Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Management, International Journal of the Commons, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Global Transitions, and Global Environmental Politics. Additionally, he has contributed popular commentaries to the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the Conversation, among others. Dr. Kashwan is an associate editor of the journal Progress in Development Studies and Co-convener of the Climate Justice Network that aims to facilitate exchange and collaboration among scholars and practitioners across the global North-South divides.

William Kneerim

Director of Employment and Education, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services

Will Kneerim lived and worked in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and both U.S. coasts during his career in global logistics.  He transitioned to the non-profit sector in 2012 as a director of multiple programs at IRIS- Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in New Haven, CT.  IRIS responded to the global refugee crisis in 2016 by more than doubling its clientele from Africa and the Middle East, helping UN designated refugees from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria and elsewhere begin new lives.  Will has been a presenter, panelist and moderator at universities and conferences around the country, and has served in board leadership positions for philanthropic and arts organizations.

Luz Londono Diaz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Economics, Manchester Community College

Luz Londoño Diaz is an Assistant Professor at Manchester Community College, where she teaches Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 2010. Then, she returned to her home country of Colombia to manage the research line in economic valuation at the Colombian Institute of Marine and Coastal Research, the advisory body of the Ministry of the Environment. Her research involved interdisciplinary projects focusing on tourism, fisheries management, adaptation to climate change, and economic development in disadvantaged coastal communities. Published works include journal articles in Ecological Economics, Boletín de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, and United Nations Environmental Program reports. She joined the University of Connecticut as a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2014. In this position, Professor Londoño Diaz taught courses on Economic Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Environmental Inequality.  She also served as the administrator of the New England Council of Latin American Studies.

Katia Alvarenga

Student at Manchester Community College


Register early as space is limited.

A light breakfast will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

After the conference, MCC’s annual Empty Bowls event is there to provide  delicious soup and hand-crafted bowls, benefiting Foodshare’s work to feed the food insecure in CT. $20 per ticket.

Also consider attending MCC’s National Issues Forum deliberation on Immigration on October, 25th 12:30-3:30pm. More information can be found at

For more information, please contact Brion van Over at 860-512-2645 or email