2020-2021 Events

TEDxGeorgeMasonU Conference

featuring Dr. James Witte, Director of the IIR

Friday, April 16 at 2pm Eastern


TedxIIR Director Dr. James Witte will be a featured speaker at this year's TEDxGeorgeMasonU conference. 

The TEDxGeorgeMasonU conference is an annual conference on campus allowing a platform for faculty and students to share their ideas within the Mason community. This year the theme is "The New Normal." Speakers across different disciplines will speak on the pandemic and how it has impacted our lives and the society.

Immigrant Writers in the US: New American Voices Award Winners Share Their Stories

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Storytelling is an important tool that can educate people about immigrants and immigration. On this webinar, three past winners of the Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award shared how they draw from their own experiences to tell beautiful, complex stories about immigrants' lives in the US.

Buy the speakers' books HERE.

To view recording, click here.

Fall for the Book and the Institute for Immigration Research created the New American Voices Award in 2018 to recognize a recently published book that illuminates the complexity of human experience as told by immigrants, whose work is historically underrepresented in writing and publishing.
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Lysley Tenorio

Winner of the IIR New American Voices Award 2020

Melissa Rivero

Winner of the IIR New American Voices Award 2019

Hernan Diaz

Winner of the IIR New American Voices Award 2018

Benjamin Gatling

Associate Professor, Department of English, George Mason University (Moderator)

You can purchase the award winning books here.

Immigration in 2021 and Beyond

Wednesday, February 10th 

This webinar explored the future of U.S. immigration policy after Inauguration Day 2021. Speakers looked at how the Executive branch, Congress, and the Supreme Court plan on dealing with immigration.  

To view the recording, click here





Balancing Academia and Policy: How Immigration Scholars Work with Immigrant Communities

Wednesday, December 2nd 

The IIR hosted a discussion about how academics from a variety of disciplines work with immigrant communities and policymakers to impact immigrants' lives.

To view the recording, click here.


Els Shoba Austin Ruth

Els de Graauw  

Associate Professor at Baruch College, the City University of New York

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Director of Immigrants' Rights Clinic, Penn State Law

Austin Kocher

Faculty Fellow, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), Syracuse University

Ruth Wasem

Professor of Public Policy Practice, University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs


COVID-19 & Immigrant Communities

Wednesday, October 7th

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated communities across the United States and has given us a new appreciation for the role all essential workers play in our economy and in our lives. Speakers addressed the role of immigrants as essential workers and healthcare providers, how it has left them vulnerable to the virus, and the impact that changes to immigration policy have had on immigrant communities. 

To view recording click here.


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Carol Cleaveland

GMU School of Social Work

Guadalupe Correa- Cabrera

GMU Schar School of Policy and Government

Julia Gelatt

Migration Policy Institute

Michele Waslin

Institute for Immigration Research