Immigration, Integration, and a New Transatlantic Generation: Cross-Cultural Understanding and Joint Action

AICGS is pleased to present two essays from the third round of the AICGS New Transatlantic Exchange Program: Giving Voice to Diversity. This innovative program establishes new connections between communities in Germany and the United States that have grown principally from an immigration background, and addresses common challenges of immigration and integration, such as discrimination, employment, political and societal leadership, education, and international engagement. The purpose of the program is two-fold: 1) to deepen public understanding of the issues and concerns of the largest populations in Germany and the United States that have an immigration background; and 2) to build and sustain a network of young leaders committed to transatlantic relations.

Project participants included a core group of young leaders (ten from Germany and ten from the United States) for engagement in intensive discussions during seminars and site visits in Washington, DC (October 2017) and Berlin (May 2018), and a broader community of experts and advocates focused on issues of immigration, integration, and cross-cultural understanding. The authors of the two essays, Juan Carlos Gomez and Safiye Sahin, were part of this year’s program. Their essays reflect the personal impact of the program, details of program activities, and the richness of the program’s networking experience.


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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Juan Carlos Gomez

United States Senate

Juan Gomez serves as the Healthcare Legislative Correspondent for United States Senator Cory Booker. Juan is particular interested in finding ways to address healthcare disparities and increase access to mental healthcare. Through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute he was able to intern in the House of Representatives for his local New Jersey Congressman. He also has experience interning in political campaigns, nonprofits, and lobbying firms. Juan earned his B.A. in Psychology and Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from Montclair State University.

He is a 2017-2018 participant in AICGS’ “Transatlantic Exchange Program for Young Minorities,” sponsored by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through Funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Safiye Sahin

Humboldt University of Berlin

Safiye Sahin is pursuing her Ph.D. and working as a research assistant at the Refugee Law Clinic of the Humboldt University of Berlin. She studied Law at the Free and Humboldt universities, specializing in International and Constitutional Law, with diverse study visits in Barcelona, Budapest, and Istanbul. She completed her legal clerkship, at the German Department for Foreign Affairs, at a Co-Plaintiff of the NSU case in Munich, and at the Chair for Constitutional Law at the University of Istanbul, among others. She also volunteers for vulnerable groups, such as children, youth, and refugees.

She is a 2017-2018 participant in AICGS’ “Transatlantic Exchange Program for Young Minorities,” sponsored by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through Funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.