The Illinois Dream: Education & Employment for Immigrants

Panel Discussion Moderated by Mawi Asgedom, AB '99
Location: Latham & Watkins
330 N. Wabash, Suite 2800, Chicago

The Illinois Dream:  Education &
Employment for Immigrants
Moderated by: Mawi Asgedom, AB '99
Panelists:  Favin Gebremariam
, Jorge Macias,
and Juan Salgado, OPM '14
Immigration has emerged as a lightning rod national issue in the 2016 presidential election with profound implications for Illinois. According to 2010 census figures, 13.5 % of Illinois residents are foreign-born and accounted for half of the state’s population growth between 2000 and 2010.

What challenges and opportunities do immigrants encounter in Illinois?  What type of education do our document and undocumented students receive?  How do our immigrant workers and professionals contribute to our local economy? How can we create a vision of the successful role of immigrants in our state?

Join the Harvard Club of Chicago for a robust conversation moderated by Mawi Asgedom, AB '99, with distinguished panelists Jorge Macias, Chief of the Office of Language and Cultural Education for Chicago Public Schools; Juan Salgado, OPM '14, winner of the MacArthur Award for his work with immigrant communities in Chicago; and, Favin Gebremariam, Executive Director of the Executive’s Club of Chicago.
Please see panelist bios below.

Register here.


DATE:           Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TIME:            5:30 pm - Wine & Cheese Reception
                      6:00 pm - Program

LOCATIONLatham & Watkins, 330 N. Wabash, Suite 2800, Chicago

COST:           Recent Graduates their guests (any college class '07 -'16) - $15 per person
                     Members & their guests - $20 per person
                     Non-members - $35 per person
                     Crimson Passport & Crimson Passport Plus Guest Members - Complimentary

Register here.


NOTE: You will be required to show a photo ID in order to gain access to the building.  Please arrive before 6:00 pm.  After that time further security measures will be in effect in the building.  Reservations will be held at the door.
Please note that unless you are a non-alumnus/a, or just arrived in the Chicago area you are in our database. Therefore you MUST LOG-IN, using your "HarvardKey" username and password (not necessarily your post.harvard email address), before completing your ticket purchase, otherwise you will create a redundant record and will have to enter all your contact information again.

CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations must be received during normal business hours, 2 business days prior to the event or the attendee who made the reservation will be charged due to costs associated with the reservation and/or the event itself, regardless of actual participation.
Mawi Asgedom, AB '99
Mawi Asgedom has written eight books that are read in thousands of classrooms across North America, and spoken to over one million students and educators in more than forty states.  Mawi Learning’s online leadership courses have inspired students around the world.

As a child, Mawi fled civil war in Ethiopia and survived a Sudanese refugee camp for three years. After being resettled in Illinois, Mawi overcame poverty, language barriers and personal tragedy to graduate from Harvard University, where he gave the Commencement address to an audience of 30,000.  

Mawi’s bestselling memoir, Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard, has been read as a one-book, one-community reading selection by thousands of schools and communities, including the cities of Philadelphia and Green Bay. His latest book, The 5 Powers of an Educator, helps parents and educators to recognize and leverage their power to profoundly impact the youth in their lives.

Citing the impact of Mawi’s work, The Illinois Association of Teachers of English named Mawi the 2006 Illinois Author of the Year. Media outlets that have featured Mawi include:
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show, “One of the Twenty Best Moments of Oprah’s Career”
  • ESSENCE, “One of the 40 Most Inspiring African-Americans"
  • Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, Harvard Magazine, Ebony Magazine

Juan Salgado, OPM '14
Juan Salgado has been the President and CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino (Instituto) since 2001. Over the last 14 years, Juan has led Instituto through a period of national award winning recognition and historic organizational growth spurred by a focus on creating partnerships, enhancing core competencies, leading innovation, providing quality services, and participating in targeted advocacy. Under his direction, Instituto has established national best practice educational and workforce models and earned the 2009 National Council of La Raza Affiliate of the Year. In 2011 the White House recognized Juan as one of 13 people nationally serving as Champions of Change for social innovation in their communities. Most recently, Juan was selected to join the prestigious MacArthur Fellows class of 2015 recognizing his strong community leadership and his innovative approach to education in the Latino immigrant community

Juan is also a civic and economic leader in Chicago. In 2011, Juan was confirmed by City Council of Chicago to serve as a Commissioner for the Chicago Park District. Juan appreciates the value of bridging the private and public sectors to promote upward mobility in the workforce and does so by partnering with the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, World Business Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools to expand diversity and opportunity in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

Juan has been an influential voice in local and national settings for his work on the educational, political, and economic advancement of the Latina/o community. Juan was Board President of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights from 2002 through 2010. Juan currently brings his voice and perspective to the boards of Advance Illinois, Leadership Greater Chicago, National Council of La Raza and the National Skills Coalition.

Juan holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Illinois Wesleyan University and a debt of gratitude to his parents Daniel A. Salgado and Maria del Carmen Maldonado. In May 2013, Juan received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Illinois Wesleyan University and is a recent graduate from the Harvard Business School Owner President Manager program. Juan and Leticia Almazan, his wife, are proud parents of three children Angel Tonatiuh, Yaretzi Amanda, and Alejandro Ollin.


Fagebremariam-cropped-20160914vin Gebremariam
Favin Gebremariam is the Director of Development and Strategic Partnership for Upwardly Global (UpGlo).  UpGlo's mission is to eliminate employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees and help them integrate into the professional workplace.  According to the Migration Policy Institute,there are over 1.9 million skilled immigrants who are unemployed or underemployed in the U.S. This is a significant waste of talent for our economy and a barrier to fully integrating new Americans into their community. By teaching refugees and other immigrants how to conduct a successful U.S. job search, and helping them connect with employers, UpGlo has assisted over 3700 talented professionals from around the world in securing professional work and financial security.

Favin joined Upwardly Global in early 2016, bringing with her a background in marketing, social media, business development, and communications. As the Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships for the Central Region, she is part of the team responsible for growing the business portfolio and expanding relationships with donors in the region to expand the number of job seekers that can be assisted year after year. Her past experiences include roles at Groupon and Nestle USA. Born in Washington, D.C. to a Peace Corps mom and a refugee dad from Eritrea, Favin grew up in Arizona with her 3 brothers and 2 sisters. Her passion and close connection to the refugee and immigrant community propelled her into a nonprofit career after receiving her MBA at Cleveland State University's Nance College of Business.


Jorge Macias

Jorge Macias currently serves as Chief of the Office of Language and Cultural Education (OLCE). OLCE serves students enrolled in Bilingual Education, World Language Education, and American Indian Education programs. OLCE also provides parent training and support for families of English Learners and Refugee students. This year OLCE lead the following CPS initiatives; approval of new Bilingual Education Policy, expansion of Dual Language Programs, and implementation of the State Seal of Biliteracy.

OLCE envisions 25% of graduating CPS students will earn the State Seal of Biliteracy by 2020. In order to meet this goal, OLCE has developed pathways for all CPS students to have the opportunity to earn this distinguished award. OLCE is leading multiple initiatives to support schools in strengthening their Bilingual Education, Dual Language Education, and World Language Education programs. These initiatives will lead to instruction that enables students to become fluent in English and a second language.


Register here.


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Tel:       1-847-256-1211

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