Immigration, Integration, and a New Transatlantic Generation: Sharing Experiences from Young Minorities in the U.S. and Germany

AICGS is pleased to present two essays from the inaugural 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 2015) and Berlin (May 2016), and a broader community of experts and advocates focused on issues of immigration, integration, and cross-cultural understanding. The authors of the two essays, Alex Alvarado and Canan-Cansu Selte, were part of the inaugural 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.

Alex Alvarado

York Law, LLC

Alex Alvarado is currently a paralegal at York Law, LLC in Denver, Colorado. His
previous positions include working as a paralegal at the law office of Jennifer M. Smith and as a Democracy Fellow for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. Mr. Alvarado completed a B.A. in History with a minor in Chicana/o Studies at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has been working in community involvement and advocacy programs, such as the CIRC Action Fund, the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, and the Asociacion de Jovenes Unidos en Accion (AJUA).

He was a 2015-2016 participant in AICGS’ “Transatlantic Exchange Program for Young Minorities: Giving Voice to Future Leaders,” sponsored by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).

Canan-Cansu Selte

Ludwig Maximilians University Munich

Canan-Cansu Selte is a student of dentistry at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. Her experience in the dental and medical fields is expansive, dating from 2007 and including internships in a dental office, a pharmacy, and a clinic. Additionally, Ms. Selte works in a mentoring program affiliated with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, as well as with a Multicultural Youth Center in Munich.

She was a 2015-2016 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.