Building One Community's 8th Annual Colloquium
"Immigration: The Overlooked Driver of Economic Growth"
On September 19, 2023, we hosted our 8th Annual Colloquium with an enriching discussion about, "Immigration: The Overlooked Driver of Economic Growth." Nearly 200 friends of B1C came together to connect, learn, and revel in the power of our immigrant community.
Our esteemed panelists, Carlos Alvarez, David Kallick, Dr. Tamu Lucero, and moderator Muzaffar Chishti, shared their profound expertise and personal experiences around the important role immigrants play in the U.S. economy.
The Village was filled with the good energy and high spirits of community leaders, government officials, partners, volunteers, and B1C staff as we enjoyed the cocktail "hour" and fierce bidding on our spectacular silent auction!
As our B1C Executive Director, Anka Badurina, mentioned during her opening remarks, "In a time when immigration is often negatively portrayed, it is crucial to collectively acknowledge the incredible value that immigrants add to our nation. Our neighbors from all over the world offer a unique perspective, rich traditions, and amazing talents that are woven into the very fabric of our community."
David Kallick, the director of the Immigration Research Initiative, stated that while the notion of immigration as an economic driver is clear amongst economists, it is often overlooked in public debates. As trends show, the positive impact on the economy is even more significant in the second and third generations of immigrants.
Carlos Alvarez, an immigrant from Guatemala and local business owner, attributed his success to the combination of opportunities, hard work, and the struggles that motivated him. He also emphasized that persistence along with the support of the community and organizations like B1C are essential.
Dr. Lucero, the superintendent of Stamford Public Schools, talked about their efforts to advance the whole student body, comprised of 76 different languages spoken at home. She emphasized how being multi-lingual is considered a strength rather than a deficit, and the school system deliberately incorporates this perspective. Dr. Lucero also discussed the new arrival program, which helps new students acclimate to the school and city, and builds trust.
Overall, the panel discussion stressed that, through the richness of their background and hard work, immigrants contribute greatly to society and economic growth. Our panelists' insights also revealed that opportunities and support are critical for immigrants to succeed, and programs like Building One Community's can go a long way to advance their integration.
Let’s work together to create a positive narrative around our immigrant community!
With sincere thanks to our sponsors
Ellen Williams & Andrew Schultz
Sarita & Gregory Hanley
Bruce & Linda Koe
Susan & William Adamsen
Holm & O'Hara
Andrew Schau & Madeline Turci
Anthony Simari & Ivonne Zucco
Jose Luis & Sarah Zepeda
Aldo & Amy Cabrera
David & Andrea Cohen
Gladstein Family Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut
Belle Horwitz & Jon Weiner
Jill & Miguel Patricio
Everett & Sally Schenk
Sonia Alcantarilla-Medina & Marcelo Gigliani
Anka Badurina & Roberto Sobrino
Connecticut Institute of Refugees and Immigrants
Cove Point Properties
Eastern Land Management (ELM)
The Inisfad Foundation
Caroline & Anthony Murray
Cathy & Rich Ostuw
Mary Sommer & Jay Sandak
Stamford Bank and Trust
The Hon. Terrie & Jay Wood