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A Humanitarian Crisis: The Harsh New Realities Facing Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Thursday, August 16, 2018 -
10:00am to 12:00pm PDT
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Over the past year-and-a-half, the systems and infrastructure that support and protect the most vulnerable immigrants have been gravely damaged by cuts in refugee admissions to the United States, federal funding cuts to the country’s national network of refugee resettlement agencies and administrative barriers that continue to make seeking protection from persecution more and more difficult every day. Please join us to learn how these issues impact local communities in California, what leaders are doing to respond and opportunities for philanthropy to engage.


**Remote Participation: For the livestream information, please email Alex Atienzo at to register and receive the livestream link.**

Vy NguyenSpeakers

Vy Nguyen, Director of Special Projects and Communications

Vy Nguyen joined Weingart Foundation in 2008 as Program Associate, and currently serves as Director of Special Projects, working on special projects that fall outside of the Foundation’s typical responsive grantmaking. Before entering philanthropy, she worked for more than a decade in the nonprofit and public sectors, most recently for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and, prior to that, for the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance. Vy holds a Bachelor’s degree in English literature from University of California, Los Angeles.

Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center  

Cynthia Buiza is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. Cynthia worked on international refugee, migration, human rights and civil rights issues in Southeast Asia before working with ACLU as Policy Director for its San Diego regional affiliate. She was also Policy and Advocacy Director at CHIRLA in Los Angeles from 2007-2010. In the past years, she worked as a consultant with various immigrant rights and civil rights institutions and social justice organizations in California and the U.S., helping shape their strategic direction and plans for sustainability. Most recently, she managed a statewide capacity building project involving nine regional coalitions in California, which aims to strengthen these coalitions’ viability through a combination of highly customized training, grantmaking and leadership coaching.

Carolina Sheinfeld, Project Coordinator, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Carolina Sheinfeld, MPD, is the Project Coordinator for LAFLA’s Torture Survivors Project. Her program provides legal assistance and case management to asylum seekers, asylees, refugees, lawful permanent residents and naturalized U.S. citizens and facilitates the integration process of immigrant survivors. Carolina coordinates inter-agency relations and program development for LAFLA's Torture Survivors Project, conducting advocacy with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State and others and has developed a network called the Los Angeles Asylum Collaborative, for NGOs working with asylees in the Greater Los Angeles area. She is the Chair of the California State Advisory Council on Refugee Assistance and Services and Vice-Chair for the Los Angeles County Refugee Forum.  She holds a Master of Public Diplomacy from USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism and is a Fellow for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Programme and the Rotary World Peace Fellowship.

Stephanie D. Stephens, Campaign Manager, We Are All America

Stephanie Stephens is the Campaign Manager for We Are All America, which works to uphold and strengthen our nation’s commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety and refuge in the United States. We organize people across religious and cultural differences to build inclusive communities where we all belong.

Martin Zogg, Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee Los Angeles Office

Martin Zogg is Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee Los Angeles Office. He started his nonprofit career with IRC in 1992 as its Country Director in Yugoslavia, where he did the start-up for IRC’s Belgrade office as the war in Bosnia & Herzegovina began.  Thereafter he was a Refugee Affairs Officer for the United Nations in the West Bank and Gaza and was the Director of International Operations for International Medical Corps, where he managed IMC’s relief operations around the world. He spent eight years as the Director of Program Administration at the California Endowment before he rejoined IRC in 2012.  He is a current member and the past chair of both the State Advisory Council for Refugee Assistance and Services and the Refugee Forum of Los Angeles.  Mr. Zogg has advanced degrees in law and journalism.

Target Audience

Members of Philanthropy California (Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers, and Southern California Grantmakers)


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