Dienstag 18.05. 19.00 Uhr

Empowerment Through Participation: Advancing Opportunities for Immigrants and Refugees


Eureka! Ländle Meets California

Location: Zoom
Admission: Free 
Language: English
Registration: Please register here

Baden-Württemberg and California have both been experiencing a high influx of refugees in the past couple of years. Upon their arrival, refugees and other newcomers have to rebuild their lives from the ground up. The support they receive and the resources they have access to play an important part in their successful integration.
What can we do to empower refugees and immigrants in their new communities? How do we help them to overcome the challenges that often accompany the ‚unknown?‘ Do approaches to capacity building differ in California and Baden-Württemberg, and what are possible advantages and disadvantages of those approaches? Our experts share their experiences and discuss different ways to empower newcomers in our respective states. Please join us for this moderated conversation and make sure to bring your questions.

The event is part of an event series initiated by the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg to enhance the relationship between the two sister states California, USA, and Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The virtual discussion will be moderated and will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

With: Cynthia Buiza, Sinja Hiss, Mosab Tato, Maria Tramountani, Karen Tumlin
Moderated by:
Ayse Özbabacan, M.A. in Euroculture

In cooperation with: Carl-Schurz-Haus Freiburg, DAI Heidelberg, and d.a.i. Tübingen
Generously supported by: State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg

Cynthia Buiza

Cynthia Buiza is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), an immigrant rights organization that advocates for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees. Among many other things, Cynthia worked on international refugee, migration, human rights and civil rights issues in Southeast Asia before working with ACLU as Policy Director for its San Diego regional affiliate. More recently, she worked as a consultant with various immigrant rights and civil rights institutions and social justice organizations. Cynthia currently serves as a State Commissioner with the Milton Marks Little Hoover Commission for State Government Organization and the Economy. She is a member of the California Community Foundation’s Immigration Advisory Council and the Southern California Policy Forum. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Pilipino Worker’s Center and Health Access California.

Sinja Hiss

Sinja Hiss works for the State Capital Stuttgart as a consultant on immigration law (Fachstelle Migration). She has been part of the Welcome Center team since 2016, supporting newcomers before and after their arrival in Stuttgart. Both the Migration Office (Fachstelle Migration) and the Welcome Center Stuttgart are part of the city’s Integration Policy department, which coordinates the integration policy of the state capital Stuttgart.
Sinja Hiss holds a bachelor’s degree in Translation Studies and a master’s degree in Interculturality and Integration.
Through her work, she brings people together and fosters the participation of newcomers.

Mosab Tato

Mohammed Mosab Tato is a Syrian refugee currently living in Stuttgart, Germany. He is working on several projects all aiming to empower refugees to become active parts in society and strengthening an understanding of democratic values. He is the leader of the Support Group Network Stuttgart and the Syrian Students Association and a member of the International Committee, an advisory body of the Stuttgart City Council.

Maria Tramountani

Maria’s vocation is transculturality. She was born in 1990 as the daughter of Greek guest workers in Stuttgart – one of the most diverse cities in Germany. She studied ethnology in Heidelberg and Malta and completed a Master’s Degree in interculturality and integration. Since 2015, she has worked professionally with young refugees and culturally diverse youth groups.
In 2017, she founded the Syrian-German writers and artists collective Literally Peace e. V. with a group of friends. In her free time, she is part of a Greek theater group and politically active as an expert member of the International Committee of the City of Stuttgart. In order to bring transculturality into every aspect of her life, she recently gave birth to a Romanian-Hungarian-Pontian-Greek-German daughter.

Karen Tumlin

Karen Tumlin is a nationally recognized impact litigator focusing on immigrants’ rights who successfully litigated numerous cases of national significance, including a challenge to the Administration’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Muslim Ban as well as the constitutional challenge to Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant law, SB 1070. She recently founded the Justice Action Center, a new nonprofit that deploys an innovative model combining impact litigation with storytelling to advance justice for immigrant communities. She formerly served as the Director of Legal Strategy and Legal Director for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).