BIMI Fall Symposium

BIMI Fall Symposium 2021

Background image: silhouettes walking with a sunset background

Symposium Overview 

Keynote - 2:30-3:00 PM 

Dania Matos, Vice-Chancellor, Equity and Inclusion

Irene Bloemraad, Faculty Director, Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative

Ethan Roubenoff, PhD Candidate, Demography, UC Berkeley

Cultural Performance and Food - 3:00-3:30 PM 

In the Philosophy Hall courtyard

Cal Bhangra was formed to promote awareness of the Punjabi culture at UC Berkeley and the surrounding Bay Area through the expression of traditional, folk Punjabi dance. Bhangra is a traditional folk dance that originates from the region of Punjab in Northern India and Pakistan. The dance form incorporates many moves that depict farming elements and themes due to farming being the primary occupation for many Punjabis. Additionally, bhangra resembles the colorful, proud, and high-energy culture of the people of Punjab. By creating a group full of young, passionate Berkeley students, Cal Bhangra hopes to keep Bhangra alive at Cal! You can learn more about the team on our Facebook and Instagram pages @Calbhangra or email us at

Panel 1: COVID and the Immigrant Services (3:30-4:00 PM)

This panel combines two important research areas being carried out by BIMI. Nina and Salome will speak about their award winning BIMI report on COVID-19 and impact on immigrants. Brisa and Luna will talk about health and legal immigrant services in the South California and Arizona. 
Brisa Rodriguez is an undergraduate research fellow at the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, working on the Mapping Spatial Inequality Project. Through her work with BIMI, Brisa’s objective is to increase the visibility and accessibility to resources for immigrant populations in the United States.

Luna Kohut is  is an undergraduate research fellow at the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, working on the Mapping Spatial Inequality Project. She is double majoring in Global Studies and Sociology with a minor in Russian Literature.Through her work with BIMI, Luna's objective is to better her understanding on migration policy on a global scale. 

Nina Narahar is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley double majoring in Political Science and History. She worked as an undergraduate communications fellow at the BIMI in the summer of 2020 researching how immigrants in the Bay Area were affected by COVID-19. She co-wrote an ACS award-winning BIMI report on COVID.

Salome Ragot graduated from UC Berkeley in 2020 with a double major in Global Studies & Spanish. She worked at BIMI as a research assistant mapping immigrant services and drafting a policy brief analyzing COVID-19’s impact on immigrants in the Bay Area. Salomé currently works on the removal defense team at Catholic Charities SF, assisting clients in deportation proceedings to apply for asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

Panel 2: Climate Displacement and the Rohingya Refugee Crisis (4:05-4:30 PM)

Panelists from BIMI and Amplifying Sanctuary voices discuss climate-related displacement, focusing on Rohingya Refugees from the Rakhine State of Myanmar. This project examines how the climate crisis interacts with and exacerbates existing drivers of displacement, centering the experiences of climate refugees. 

Dewi Zarni is a 4th year American Studies major. As an Undergraduate Research Fellow with BIMI, she has worked on the Mapping Spatial Inequality project and the Amplifying Sanctuary Voices Climate Displacement project. 
Matt Matusiewicz ('23) is a Public Health and French major and a Peter E. Haas Public Service Leader. He is also the co-coordinator of Amplifying Sanctuary Voices, a project from East Bay Sanctuary Covenant. 

Leah Spelman is Executive Director of Partnership for Trauma Recovery (PTR).  Ms. Spelman has an MPH in Global Health from the University of Washington, with a focus on global mental health and culturally-aware approaches to trauma care. She holds a BA in International Affairs with a concentration in Middle East Studies from George Washington University, and speaks Arabic, Spanish, and French.

Register for the event