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BALANCING ACT: Border Protection and Humanitarian Acceptance

With 48 million foreign-born residents, the United States is undeniably an immigrant nation. The consensus and narrative, let alone the policies to guide this critical aspect of our nation, are in a chaotic state. What issues must be addressed and how is tension between sovereign borders and a welcoming nation to be addressed? Beyond political talking points, the future of the country rests on who we are, how we continue to build our nation and how we address immediate issues that are flash points dividing neighbors.


The Speaker

Dr. Westy A. Egmont founded the Immigrant Integration Lab of the Boston College School of Social Work. His academic focus is on integration, comparative social policy and immigrant and refugee policy issues. The lab focuses on the intersection of social policy and human services and the dynamic process by which the foreign born become full participants in their new country.

A native of New York, Egmont has been the Dean of Students at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya, served various church organizations including being the President of the Association of Regional Religious Broadcasters during his 11 seasons producing and hosting a weekly television show on WBZ on current issues. A social activist, Egmont incorporated Covenant Housing, developed the Greater Boston Food Bank, and served for a decade as the President of the International Institute of New England, the largest immigrant and refugee service agency in the region. A frequent speaker, he has lectured at dozens of
colleges and universities and in a variety of conferences across the US and Europe. Egmont is the curator of Dreams of Freedom, an exhibit on the history of immigration through Massachusetts located the Prudential Center’s Skywalk for over a decade and his been recipient of numerous awards. Dr. Egmont has co-chaired the Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Council on Immigrants and Refugees and has been appointed by five governors to that advisory role. He served as the co-chair of the 2010 National Immigrant Integration Conference, has been appointed as a council member for the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement, serves on the CMS Catholic Immigrant Integration Network and is on the board of Metropolis International. He currently consults with national and international organizations on integration and inclusion of the foreign-born as President of the Association of New

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