41st UNIS-UN Conference to Feature Diverse Lineup of Guest Speakers
41st UNIS-UN Conference to Feature Diverse Lineup of Guest Speakers

One thing that helps make UNIS UN a special event is the quality and diversity of the guest speakers. Over the years, whether presenters were academics, activists, authors, or public officials, they have enriched the debate by offering thoughtful positions on some of the world's most important issues. We are confident they will carry on this tradition.

"UNIS-UN is an incredible organization that has had a significant impact on both of our lives and the lives of many others. The opportunity to bring people together in debate and lively discourse has always struck us as essential, and this conference does just that. By collecting individuals from all corners of the world, from varying backgrounds and ethnicities, and with diverse belief systems, UNIS-UN has produced remarkable results," said Sean Lenz and Sarah Blau, UNIS UN Senior Co-Chairs. "Over the years we have seen debate and discourse that has broadened people's perspectives and inspired them to bring their experiences back to their home country and their schools. We hope the legacy of UNIS-UN lives far past our time, but more importantly we hope that the principles that this conference is based on resonate across this country and across the world; they are principles of democratic discourse, diversity, and tolerance."

Conference speakers include:

Ben Fox Rubin, senior reporter for CNET, the largest technology news publication worldwide. Through his reporting, Rubin traveled to Greece last summer as part of a global CNET project that sought to find out how technology was helping, or harming, Syrians and other refugees fleeing war and hardship. He visited the island of Lesvos, where hundreds of thousands of refugees poured in a year earlier, and the northern city of Thessaloniki to interview migrants about how their phones helped them keep in touch with family members and find food and shelter. In addition, Rubin went to Athens and found illegal housing for refugees, which activists operated using Facebook and Twitter pages to coordinate donations and bring in volunteers.

Selcuk R. Sirin, Ph.D., a J. K. Javits Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. Dr. Sirin studies the lives of marginalized children, including refugees and immigrants and ways to increase professionals' ability to better serve their developmental and educational needs. He is the recipient of Teaching Excellence Awards from Boston College and New York University, the Young Scholar Award from the Foundation for Child Development for his work on immigrant children, and the Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) given in recognition of an outstanding article published in education.

Angy Rivera, a Core Member at the New York State Youth Leadership Council, an undocumented youth led organization fighting for immigrant justice through leadership development and community organizing. Rivera first became involved in her community while in high school. She later joined the NYSYLC and in 2010 Rivera created Ask Angy, an award winning undocumented immigrant advice column. In 2012, Rivera met documentary maker Mikaela Shwer who filmed her and her family for the film entitled No Le Digas A Nadie (Don't Tell Anyone). The documentary, which aired on PBS, navigates the difficult reality and double silence Rivera experiences as an undocumented immigrant and survivor of sexual assault.

Gregory Maniatis, Senior European Policy Fellow and oversees European programs for the Migration Policy Institute. He is also Senior Advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration and a co-director of the migration initiative at Columbia University's Global Policy Initiative. Mr. Maniatis consults for the European Commission, Member State governments, the European Parliament, and international organizations.

William Milberg, Dean and Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research and Co-Director of the Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at The New School. His research focuses on the relation between globalization, income distribution and economic growth, and the history and philosophy of economics. Dr. Milberg teaches graduate courses in international trade, political economy, the history of economic thought, and a seminar on the methodology of economics.

Victor Alfonso Flores Guzman, a student who was born in El Salvador. When his country was passing through a hard time, which included corruption and violence, he fled to the United States looking for a place to get protection and opportunities to reach all of his goals and give something back into the world. Right now he is pursuing his education at Emma Lazarus High School for students with English as their second language.

This is the 41st annual UNIS-UN conference. To promote global awareness and cross-culturalism, the conference's annual themes are always ones of global importance. Over three hundred students from all over the world are invited to attend in addition to the upper classes at the United Nations International School. For the second year there will be a half-day international celebration featuring international performances and a cultural showcase in the Sylvia Howard Fuhrman Auditorium at UNIS.