Moving Stories: Human Migration Causes, Consequences & Community Responses

The International Visitors Council of Los Angeles’ (IVCLA) mission is to create international understanding and cooperation between the Los Angeles region and the rest of the world. Starting on Thursday, September 27th, they will be kicking off Global Awareness Days right here in our own backyard at the historic Watts Labor Community Action Committee Center (WLCAC). Janet Elliott, President of IVCLA joined with IVCLA board member Tim Watkins, President WLCAC to bring together this amazing day. The theme is “MOVING STORIES: Human Migration - Causes, Consequences & Community Responses.” The community forum will offer a comprehensive, interactive look at the critical global issue of human migration. By sharing the stories and lived experiences of the people and communities impacted by this issue, they hope to build awareness and foster a more compassionate approach to addressing the fundamental human experience of migration. 

The International Visitors Council, WLCAC, and the West Coast Turkish American Chamber of Commerce are partnering organizations whose hope is that the day will bring more understanding around the issues of migration. MOVING STORIES will explore:

  • The reasons people around the world are forced to flee their homes

  • The challenges people face when they leave home

  • The response of communities around the world to forced migration

  • The impact of forced migration on host countries and communities

  • The actions Los Angeles is taking to welcome new families and help them resettle

  • The economic and cultural contributions immigrants and refugees bring to the L.A. area

The moderated morning discussion will include Martin Zogg, Director of the International Rescue Committee L.A.; Eliane Fersan, Director of the Initiative on Immigrants & Global Migration, USC Gould School of Law; Patricia Ortiz, Project Director at Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project; and Rigoberto Reyes, Acting Director for the L.A. County Office of Immigrant Affairs. 

The luncheon will be provided by TIYYA Foundation. They will showcase the culinary talents of chefs from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria. The luncheon will include a discussion with TIYYA Foundation Co-Founder Meymuna Hussein-Cattan and interviews with refugees who have resettled in the L.A. area. The afternoon will also feature an interactive exhibit hall with videos, displays and desserts from around the world. 

The world has become increasingly smaller and smaller due to technology. The Internet has allowed us to connect with people across the globe, but if we don’t know how to stop and connect with people face to face, right where we live, what good is it? People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. Let’s start in our own communities. To learn more visit

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