Participants

Diya Abdo is Associate Professor of English at Guilford College in Greensboro,
North Carolina. A first-generation Palestinian, born and raised in Jordan, she is the founder and
director of Every Campus a Refuge advocating for housing refugees on campus grounds and
assisting them in resettlement. Thus far, Guilford College has hosted 32 refugees (18 of them
children) from the Middle East and Africa in campus houses and assisted them in resettlement
in Greensboro.

 

May-lee Chai is the author of eight books, including the short story collection, Useful Phrases
for Immigrants, forthcoming from Blair. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the
Arts fellowship and the 2014 APALA (Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association) Literature
Award.

 

 

Patrice Gopo writes essays about race, immigration, and belonging. She is the child of Jamaican immigrants and was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Her new book is titled, All the Colors
We Will See.

 

 

Stephanie Elizondo Griest is the award-winning author of three travel memoirs: Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana; Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines; and All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands,as well as the best-selling guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go.

 

 

Tsitsi Jaji is a Zimbabwean poet and academic who teaches about global black literatures, music and cinema at Duke University. Her most recent book is a volume of poetry, Beating the Graves.

 

 

 

Ambien Mitchell is a natural born US Citizen who fell in love with a DACA recipient and spent the past three years in immersion training learning and attempting to navigate the US immigration system.

 

 

Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, an
advocacy organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration, and the author of
There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge
of American Immigration. Growing up in California as the son of Pakistani immigrants, Ali
quickly learned how to forge alliances among people of wide-ranging backgrounds, a skill that
has served him extraordinarily well as one of the nation’s most innovative coalition builders. Ali
lives in Washington,D.C. and is the host of the Only in America podcast.

 

Baptiste Paul is a Caribbean author of two books for children (Adventures to School and The Field). Born and raised on the island
of Saint Lucia, he is a native Creole/Patois speaker who enjoys readings his books and sharing about his experiences with anyone who will listen.

 

 

Miranda Paul is the award-winning author of One Plastic Bag and Water is Water. She serves as Mentorship chair for
We Need Diverse Books and volunteers for Books for Africa.

 

 

Rev. Julie Peeples came to Congregational in late September of 1991, having served with
her husband, the Rev. Paul Davis, as chaplains for Habitat for Humanity International at
Habitat headquarters in Americus, Georgia. Her ministerial experience includes working with
homeless women in Boston, campus ministry at St. Vincent College near Pittsburgh, serving as a
Minister of Christian Education and Family Life in a large UCC church near Boston. She is a
driving force in immigration and social justice issues in Guilford County.