2017 CVIIC Conference on Immigrant Integration in the Central Valley

The 2017 CVIIC Conference on Immigrant Integration in the Central Valley was held in Fresno on October 25, 2017. This year’s edition of the annual conference brought together representatives of more than 70 organizations from throughout the Central Valley, Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The focus of this year’s annual conference was on the protection and empowerment of immigrants residing in this region of California.

Participants brought to the conference a wide range of perspectives and a wealth of expertise to share with other attendees. Represented at the event were agencies that included legal services providers, health care advocates, community based organizations, educational and vocational institutions, elected officials, foundations, faith based organizations, media agencies, private law firms, public sector agencies, and others.

In addition to the discussion of relevant and contemporary issues, CVIIC presented special awards to partner agencies and outstanding community leaders.

A highlight of the 2017 conference was the keynote presentation by Jojo Annobil, Executive Director of the Immigrant Justice Corps, a New York-based innovative program that recruits and trains legal fellows to serve immigrant communities in urban and rural communities.

Conference participants engaged in in-depth discussions and strategic planning, identifying priority issues and next steps to follow.


Conference Gallery

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Conference Program

8:00-8:45 Conference registration and continental breakfast

8:45 Welcome. Program MCs: Alejandra Tovar and Lazaro Salazar

9:00 Introductory Presentation on CVIIC and Central Valley Immigration: Jesus Martinez, Chair, Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative

Welcoming Presentations:

  • Sabina Gonzalez-Eraña, The California Endowment
  • Esmeralda Soria, Fresno City Council
  • Dr. Joaquin Arambula, State Assembly Member

9:30-10:30 Panel. Federal and State Immigration Policies: Impacts on Central Valley Immigrants
• Cynthia Buiza (California Immigrant Policy Center)
• Diana Tellefson (UFW Foundation)
• Katie Annand (Kids in Need of Defense)
• Moderator: Jesus Martinez

10:30-11:30 Panel. Raids, Detentions, Deportations: Protecting the Rights of Our Immigrants
• Angelica Salceda (ACLU and Northern California Rapid Response Network)
• Lisa Weissman-Ward (Stanford University Law School Immigrant Rights’ Clinic and NCRRN)
• Sukaina Hussain (Faith in Fresno)
• Juan Dario Constantino (Protection Deparment, Consulado de Mexico en Fresno)
• Moderator: Allison Davenport (Immigrant Legal Resource Center)

11:30-12:30 Panel. Empowering Central Valley Immigrants Via Access to Legal Services
• Maricela Gutierrez (SIREN)
• Raul Moreno (Education and Leadership Foundation)
• Mario Gonzalez (Centro La Familia Advocacy Services)
• Allison Davenport (ILRC)
• Luis Guerra (UFW Foundation)
• Moderator: Leoncio Vazquez, CBDIO

12:30-1:30 Working Lunch

12:30-1:00 CVIIC Awards. Presented by Hugo Morales and Juan Arambula

  • Homero Mejia: Community Leadership Award
  • Fresno Unified School District: Innovation in Immigrant Integration Award
  • Janie Muñoz-Tafoya: Citizenship Award
  • Proteus: Community Partner Award
  • Rufino Dominguez Santos: Leader in Immigrant Rights Award
  • Olga Grosh: Pro Bono Award

1:00-1:30 Keynote Speaker. Jojo Annobil, Executive Director, Immigrant Justice Corps: “The Humanitarian Crisis in the U.S: Innovative Representation Models”

1:30-3:00 Breakout Groups: Strategies to Meet Contemporary Challenges
A) Advocacy Strategies to Advance Immigrant Rights (California Immigrant Policy Center)

B) Developing an Effective and Innovative Communications Strategy (FWD.us)

C) Collaboration Across Regions to Enhance the Legal Capacity in the Central Valley (Allison Davenport, Sara Feldman, Lisa Weissman-Ward and Angelica Salceda)

D) Ensuring Health Access for All Immigrants (CVIIC Health Task Force)

3:00-3:30 Our Next Steps: Mahvash Hassan (Institute for Local Government)

3:30 Conclusion

Conference Sponsors: The California Endowment and San Joaquin Valley Health Fund

Conference Co-Sponsors:
Northern California Rapid Response Network
Office of Assemblymember Joaquín Arambula

Participating Organizations (Partial List)

A partial list of participating organizations includes the following:

ACLU of Northern California
Alvarado and Eslava, LLP
California Bar Foundation
California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC)
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
California Pan Ethnic Health Network
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF)
Catholic Charities of Stockton
Central California Environmental Justice Network
Central Valley Children’s Services Network
Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC)
Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueno (CBDIO)
Centro La Familia Advocacy Services
Centro Legal de la Raza
Children Now
Coalinga Neighborhood Resource Center
Consulate of Mexico in Fresno, CA
CSF Medical Non-Profit Foundation
Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC)
Diocese of Oakland
Education & Leadership Foundation
Emerson Collective
Faith in the Valley
Fresno Center for New Americans
Fresno County Public Library
Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission
Fresno Healthy Communities Access Partners
Fresno State
Fresno Unified School District
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
I-CAN/Crime Victims Assistance Network
Immigrant Justice Corps
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Institute for Local Government
Jakara Movement
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
Lazaro Salazar Law
Mi Familia Vota
Northern California Rapid Response Network
Oakland Community Organizations
Open Door Legal
Pasifika Immigration Law Group
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
Proteus Inc
Radio Bilingue, Inc.
San Joaquin Immigrant Youth Collective
Sanger Family Resource Center -CYS
Selma Neighborhood Resource Center
Sequoias Adult Education Consortium
Social Justice Collaborative
Stanford University Law School Immigrant Rights’ Clinic
The Rios Company
The Wonderful Company
UFW Foundation
University of California, Hastings College of the Law
West Coast Mennonite Central Commitee
Wilner & O’Reilly
WKF Fund
Workforce Development Board of Madera County
Youth 2 Leaders Education Foundation


CVIIC and the 2017 Conference on Immigrant Integration

CVIIC is a regional network of partner organizations that was established in Fresno on February 2014. It emerged out of the shared concern for the very limited organizational capacity that has existed in the region to assist local immigrant families impacted by federal, state and local policies. Since its creation, and thanks to the collaboration of numerous partner organizations, it has held over 200 legal workshops in rural and urban communities in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties. At these workshops, clients are screened for eligibility for federal immigration programs, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, naturalization and U-Visas and receive free application assistance. In addition to the workshops, hundreds of informational have been held for small and large audiences, including locations such as schools, churches, community centers, consular events, and others.

In addition to the services offered to the public, a major contribution that CVIIC also offers partner organizations is the possibility of attending free technical training opportunities. These cover a wide range of immigration related issues and typically draw partners from Fresno and nearby counties.

The 2017 CVIIC Conference was designed to help meet the challenges that are arising as a result of the changes in federal immigration policies. To this end, the conference focused on:

  • Bringing together existing and new partners to increase and strengthen the regional network
  • Identifying short and medium term priorities and strategies to defend and protect immigrants residing in local rural and urban communities
  • Improving the regional legal capacity by establishing collaborative relations with legal services providers from the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles
  • Engaging representatives of foundations interested in investing in the Central Valley
  • Offering analyses on federal and state policies and relevant issues
  • and much more!

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