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Events


Previous Events

2024

– February 15

The Great Canoe Loop: Recovering Native Travel Routes & Forging New Community

For millennia, Native American communities not only survived, but built societies which thrived based on using canoe technology and water skills to harvest natural resources across the landscape. In the spring of 2023, a team of paddlers left Penobscot Territory bound for Boston and beyond on an 1800 mile canoe circumnavigation of the Northeast. Join Penobscot Nation paddler and guide Ryan Ranco as he shares stories from “the Great Canoe Loop”, a first-of-its-kind, three and a half month odyssey connecting more than a dozen surviving native communities together — in the traditional way, by water.

– January 10

El Salvador Today

This presentation will be a conversation with Mario Guevara to learn more about the political situation in El Salvador: deterioration of democracy, Human Rights abuses, and the relationship with the US government. We will discuss the Exception Regime implemented since March 2022 and why current president Nayib Bukele remains popular among most of the population as he plans to get reelected, despite the prohibition in the Constitution.

2023

– December 13

An Iranian Religious Refugee Tells Her Story

A religious refugee from Iran, Parivash Rohani presently lives in Portland, Maine, where she is actively engaged in human rights advocacy. Join us as Parivash describes her journey from Iran to Portland, along with commentary on her life in Iran and her subsequent experiences since leaving her native land.

– November 15

A Post Title 42: Happenings on the Arizona-Mexico Border

Title 42, a public health law from 1944, was used for more than 3 years (March 2020- May 2023) to shut down the asylum system. While the predicted rush did not initially occur, since May 12, the Arizona-Mexico border has continued to be a very dynamic region. From her experiences living and working in the Arizona borderlands from Feb-August each year, listening to the personal stories of people in the midst of their migrant journey, as well as observations and learning from individuals working in a variety of fields, Amy Tice will share insights on humanitarian issues and other aspects of life in the region.

– October 18

Healthy Homes and the Immigrant Experience in Maine

Among the challenges faced by new Mainers is the safety of older rental housing. Learn about one immigrant community from Rwanda who survived and fled genocide and political instability. Also learn about immigrant tenants in the Portland area being trained to identify and correct environmental health hazards in a Healthy Homes partnership with Defend Our Health, a nonprofit public health and social justice organization.

Apolliinaire Munyaneza, Ph.D., President of the Rwanda Community Association of Maine, has led cultural and economic integration efforts for Rwandan immigrants in Maine. He also serves as Executive Secretary of Ibuku USA, which advocates nationwide for the survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi people. A green chemist by training, he also conducts environmental assessments.

Sergio Cahueque, a native Spanish-speaker from Guatemala and a graduate of the College of the Atlantic, is a grassroots organizer working with Maine communities to foster environmental health and to achieve justice in the face of toxic chemical pollution of drinking water, wells and homes by arsenic, lead, and PFAS—the forever chemicals.

– September 26

Humanitarian Relief Work with Syrian Refugees

What is life like for a Syrian refugee as they live in Lebanon waiting for permanent resettlement? Join us in an informative and interactive session with Rev. Donnie Bentley as he discusses his 10+ years working internationally in Beirut, Lebanon assisting refugees.

– June 21

“Where Is Home?” An Immigrant Experience

Yetunde O. Ajao, MPA, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director of the Student Life for Training and Multicultural Programming at the University of Maine, Farmington. As a mother of five children, Dr. Ajao shared her experience as a scholar, mother, and “non immigrant,” along with insights into the rich and unique culture of Nigeria, her country of origin.

Unfortunately, there is no video / audio for this event

– April 18

Gaining Perspective: Ukraine’s History and Rich Legacy

Kateryna Bagrii was born in and spent her first 28 years of life in Ukraine. In May 2014, the war started in the Eastern part of the country where she lived and worked. To save her life and the lives of her two children, she left her home and job and spent two years in Europe, waiting for permission from the U.S. government to enter the country. Upon arriving in the U.S., she decided to focus on nursing.

She completed her two-year nursing program at Eastern Maine Community College in 2021, her bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 2022, and now is working on the master’s degree in nursing (Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner) program at Husson University.

Kateryna is working in ICU at Maine Coast Hospital and is a full time Nursing Faculty at Beal University. She also works as an adjunct instructor with the Departments of Nursing and Math and Science at Eastern Maine Community College and teaches Russian and Ukrainian Languages at the University of Maine. Nursing Education is her ultimate passion. Also, it appears that the path of becoming a Nurse Practitioner with a specialization in Cardiology and Palliative Care is her true calling. She hopes to be able to combine her clinical work and teaching so she can share her knowledge and experience with future generations of nurses.

Kateryna spends all non-work-related time with her four children, traveling, and engaging in educational and recreational activities.

Kateryna Paliukh was born in Ukraine in a town called Khmelnytskyi, on the west side of the country. She participated in an exchange program called Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) when she was 16. She got to spend her exchange year (2014-2015) in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Currently, she resides in Yukon, Canada working for the Government of Yukon. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Public Administration. The course of her studies was determined by political events in her country, which sparked a desire to understand how political and historical events in the world intertwine and affect our lives.

– March 15

Advocating for French Heritage Women’s Voices.

Rhea Cote Robbins

Rhea Cote Robbins is the Founder/Director of the Franco-American Women’s Institute (FAWI), which advocates for the creativity of French heritage women and provides a safe place for those women to express their creativity. Robbins discussed the purposes, history, activities, and plans for the future of the Institute.

– February 15

A Muslim Immigrant Runs for Public Office.

Dina Yacoubagha, a Muslim immigrant running for public office, discussed the challenges and barriers she encountered, the support she received in the running for the Bangor City Council, and the comparisons between the election process in the US and in her native Syria. Dina talked about the recent catastrophic earthquake that hit Tukey and Syria.

– January 18

One of Each – Raising Adopted Sons from Russia and Ukraine

Robert Klose, a Prize Winning Author and adoptive parent of boys from Russia and Ukraine, recounts his experience in navigating the joys & challenges of foreign adoption, where one must interface with cultures whose ways are unfamiliar and where American conceptions of justice, fair play, and freedom of expression may have little meaning.

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