2021 Atlanta Global Studies Symposium

Symposium Promotional Image

The next Annual Atlanta Global Studies Symposium will be held virtually from April 20 to 23, 2021. The annual symposium brings together educators, researchers, corporate, civic, and community partners, as well as graduate and undergraduate students, to discuss topics of global and local significance and to foster interdisciplinary collaboration across universities.  

The 2021 Atlanta Global Studies Symposium will connect audiences to experts and research on various topics, including social justice, global health, Race Beyond Borders, international education, diplomacy, and peace education. The goals of the 2021 Atlanta Global Studies Symposium are to explore the lessons the past year has taught us about global interdependence, to celebrate our individual and collective resilience, and to support each other and the communities we serve through interdisciplinary collaboration.  

Detailed Digital Program Recorded Sessions on AGSC YouTube Channel

Welcome by Vanessa Ibarra, Director of the Atlanta Mayor's Office of International Affairs


Tuesday, April 20

10:30am-12:00pm — Decolonizing Global Health Series, Session 5, "Disrupting and Rebuilding Global Healthcare Systems" with Emory Global Health Institute and Race Beyond Borders.

*This session requires a separate registration at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYld-iprDIpE9G5sPogPQzJkqIy3d1ETdIV. We apologize for any inconvenience. Upon registration, you will receive a unique Zoom link for the session.

decolonizing global health imageModerator: Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, Director of Operations and Outreach, Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora, Georgia State University


  • Osama Tanous, MD, MPH, 2020 Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow
  • Eugene Richardson, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Co-chair, Lancet Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice
  • Kelly Callahan, MPH, Director, Trachoma Control Program, The Carter Center

Breakout rooms facilitated by Emory and GSU faculty and graduate students

1:30-2:30pm — International Skills Diploma Seal Celebration

Georgia Department of Education, World Languages and Global Workforce Initiatives

In today’s global marketplace, it is important for students to acquire the interdisciplinary skills they need to be globally competent and competitive. The International Skills Diploma Seal is awarded to graduating high school students who complete an international education curriculum and engage in extracurricular activities and experiences that foster the achievement of global competencies. It is a signal to employers and higher education institutions that a student is prepared to participate in the global economy. This event is an opportunity to celebrate students who have earned the International Skills Diploma Seal.

3:30-5pm — Agree to Disagree: Reducing Polarization and Engaging Students in Civil Discourse

A presentation by Dr. Jennifer McCoy will reveal strategies for reducing polarization in conversations and provides tips and tools for teachers. Dr. Andrew J. Cohen will then lead a live virtual discussion on teaching civil discourse. High school and college educators will learn teaching strategies to help students recognize their “inner polarizer” and develop methods for disagreeing without contempt for people who hold other political views.

5:30-6:30pm — Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth F. Cohen photoDr. Elizabeth F. Cohen

Illegal: How America’s Lawless Immigration Regime Threatens Us All

Moderated by Dr. Anthony Lemieux

US immigration enforcement agencies routinely stalk the undocumented, terrorize legal immigrants and mixed status families, and even trespass on the constitutional rights of citizens. While the Trump administration flaunted its brutality toward immigrants, the roots of its practices lie with early twentieth century white nationalism and nativism. Elizabeth F. Cohen will narrate the country’s descent into anti-immigrant panic, tracing the origins of our obsession with illegality to the country’s first comprehensive immigration restriction law. That nativist legislation paved the way for today’s sprawling enforcement apparatus, whose budget and power now dwarf that of any other federal law enforcement agency. She will also speak about how past legislation can help us confront this crisis of corruption and abuse and what to expect from the new administration

Wednesday, April 21

10:30-11:30am — Celebrating Atlanta's Global Youth Professionals: Global Talent for a Global City

Presented by the Atlanta Mayor's Office of International Affairs and the Greater Atlanta Coalition for Global Education and Research (GAcGEAR)

Talk to a panel of Metro Atlanta students and alumni who are working or have worked in global-oriented internships and positions. Learn how they landed internships and what they discovered along the way. Hear about the challenges and rewards of working in a globally-connected environment and find out where these panelists are going next!


Photo of studentJustice Victoria Frederick
English Major
Spelman College
Class of 2021
Ambassador for the CAPA Global Internship Program
Editor-in-Chief of Aunt Chloe Literary Magazine

Photo of Marquis DalyMarquis Daly
B.A. in Psychology
Georgia State University
Class of 2020

Intern at the Japan-America Society of Georgia

Photo of Neta KannyNeta Kanny
M.S. in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies (Spanish concentration)
Georgia Tech
Class of 2020

Academic Program Manager of the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech

Photo of Lucas de Souza MartinsLucas de Souza Martins
M.A. student in American History
Georgia State University
Class of 2021

Former intern at the Atlanta Mayor's Office of International Affairs; current intern at the Georgia House of Representatives

Special Guests:

  • Anya Foreman, GSU Class of 2022, International Business Intern at the Atlanta Mayor's Office of International Affairs
  • Jenna Medcalf, GSU Graduate Class of 2021, International Affairs & Marketing Intern at the Atlanta Mayor's Office of International Affairs

Moderated by: Kristy Winkler, Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research, and Diana Wrenn Rapp, Atlanta Global Studies Center

1:00-2:30pm — Building Partnerships for SDGs: Academics and Nonprofit Organizations Reflect on Collaboration Opportunities and Challenges

Presented by the RCE Greater Atlanta's Higher Education Learning Community

This session aims to expand understanding of university-community-based organization (CBO) partnerships in Atlanta and beyond related to the UN SDGs, provide opportunities, strengthen partnership networks locally, nationally, globally, and help clarify and confront the challenges associated with university-CBO partnerships. Envision new and creative ways of addressing these challenges and growing CBO-university partnerships.


Response from Henry Sanoff, Emeritus Professor of Architecture, North Carolina State University

Moderator: Mine Hashas-Degertekin, Associate Professor of Architecture, Kennesaw State University

2:35-4pm — RCE Youth Breaking Their Silence: Surviving in a Covid-19 World

Presented by RCE Greater Atlanta and Georgetown RISE

This year, RCE Greater Atlanta and Georgetown RISE will be co-hosting the third annual youth virtual conference. This event, previously organized with a stand-alone conference format, has been adapted to focus on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on youth, specifically mental health, finances, and sustainable development. Through interactive panel and roundtable discussion, participants will leave with an interest to continue the conversation in their communities and networks, and hopefully get involved in our RCE networks. 
The event will begin with a 15-minute introduction, followed by 60-minute panel discussions on one of three topics: mental health, finances, and sustainable development; participants will be able to indicate their panel preference during the event. View panel descriptions here. We will close the event with a concluding discussion and overview of how to stay involved. 

Event Host:

  • Thiago Esslinger, Undergraduate Student at Georgia Institute of Technology and Leadership Circle Member of RCE Greater Atlanta

Mental Health Panel


  • Destinee Whitaker, Undergraduate Student at Spelman College and Co-Lead of RCE Greater Atlanta Speakers Bureau
  • Mallory Panuelo, Undergraduate Student at Coastal Carolina University and UN Youth Corps Ambassador for Georgetown RISE


  • James Garrett, Graduate Student at Clark Atlanta University; started an initiative called “The Passage: Navigating Covid-19, Stress and Anxiety”
  • Charlie Wood, Undergraduate Student at Georgia Institute of Technology and Mental Health Advocate
  • Atticus Lemahieu, Undergraduate Student at Georgia Institute of Technology and Serve-Learn-Sustain Student Fellow
  • Aniyah Yisrael, Undergraduate Student majoring in Psychology at Spelman College

Finances Panel


  • Semline Delva, M.Ed Program Coordinator of Leadership & Civic Engagement at Kennesaw State University and Leadership Circle Member of RCE Greater Atlanta
  • Thiago Esslinger, Undergraduate Student at Georgia Institute of Technology and Leadership Circle Member of RCE Greater Atlanta


  • Austin Heller, Undergraduate Student at Kennesaw State University
  • Mama Aye Addo, Undergraduate Student at Kennesaw State University and AmeriCorps Member
  • Aunjrae Barnes, Undergraduate Student at Georgia Institute of Technology and National Society of Collegiate Scholars Member
  • Andrew Wittmayer, Undergraduate Student at Kennesaw State University
  • Iesha Baldwin, Graduate of Spelman College and North American Association of Environmental Education 30 under 30

Sustainable Development Panel


  • Derrick Storzieri, Undergraduate Student at Coastal Carolina University and UN Youth Corps Ambassador for Georgetown RISE
  • Michelle Dzurenda, PhD Student in Educational Leadership and Graduate Assistant for Georgetown RISE


  • Hannah Crumptom, Undergraduate Student at Coastal Carolina University
  • Anjali Sindhuvalli, Undergraduate Student at University of Georgia and President of Triple Impact Consulting
  • Alexander B Taylor, Undergraduate Student at Morehouse College and Founder of Artem NextGen
  • Mike Fuller, Undergraduate Student at Coastal Carolina University and UN Youth Corps Ambassador for Georgetown RISE

4-5:30pm — USAID Opportunities for Faculty and Graduate Student Researchers under the Research Technical Assistance Center

The use of research in the context of international development has a long history within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Indeed, evidence-based research has informed USAID programming investments for many years. However, experience has taught us that conducting evidence-based research alone does not lead to better development outcomes. Rather, effective translation and utilization of research is also required to inform policy reform and change.

USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub within the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI), established the Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) in 2018 to assist in both conducting new research with the participation of a global network of university-affiliated scholars, undertake a range of research translation and utilization activities, and provide other demand-driven technical assistance. RTAC represents a global network of academic researchers and development experts that provide on-demand expertise for USAID to promote evidence-based policies and programs. Through research, specialized training, high-level policy convenings, and short-term technical assistance, RTAC seeks to advance the impact of USAID’s development investments in a variety of sectors, worldwide.

Learn how this innovative mechanism works to support USAID’s development objectives and consider how university-affiliated faculty, post-doctoral candidates, and graduate students can join the RTAC Research Network.


  • Dr. Ticora V. Jones, Acting Director for the Innovation, Technology & Research Hub and the Deputy for Research in the Innovation, Technology & Research Hub of the US Agency for International Development
  • Sutherland Miller III, Project Director, NORC at the University of Chicago; USAID Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC)
  • Gabriela Alcaraz, Research Director, USAID Research and Technical Assistance Center (RTAC)

6-6:30pm — Meet the Expert: Live Virtual Session 
Co-investigating Global Sustainability in the Foreign Language Classroom

Use exploration of the climate movement as a content topic around which to interact in the target language and discover cultural perspectives and practices. Walk away with pedagogical tools and examples

Watch the pre-recorded presentation and attend the live session to talk with Dr. Delavan about enhancing language teaching and learning using global sustainability content.

Dr. M. Garrett Delavan, Assistant Professor
World Language, Dual Language, and ESOL Education
Department of Middle and Secondary Education
Georgia State University

6:30-7pm — Meet the Expert: Live Virtual Session 
Teletandem Integrated into the Foreign Language Classroom

Watch the pre-recorded presentation to learn how the integration of tele-collaboration can be effective for language acquisition, intercultural competence, and reciprocity gains. Attend the live session to talk to Viviane Klen-Alves about ways to integrate Teletandem and other forms of virtual exchange into your language course.

Viviane Klen-Alves
TESOL and World Language Education
Portuguese Flagship Program
Department of Language and Literacy Education
University of Georgia

Thursday, April 22

10:30-12 pm — Taking the Next Step in Advancing Atlanta Peace Education, Research Collaborations, and Careers of the Future

This roundtable will feature experts and supporters of the developing Atlanta Peace Education and Research Initiative, charting the next steps for concrete collaboration around innovative curricula, research collaboration, and public-private sector partnerships that address SDG-16 "Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions."

Topics of discussion include:

  • Innovative curricular trends
  • Student learning outcomes for peace education 
    Peace education, private sector careers, and professions of the future
  • SDG-16 research collaborations 
    Lifelong learning, executive education, and professional credentials


  • Michael Best, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing;  Director of Research at Georgia Tech – Shenzhen
  • Joseph Bock, Director, School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development, Kennesaw State University
  • Renee Bricker, Professor of History, University of North Georgia
  • Christine S. Cozzens, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College; Charles A. Dana Professor of English, Agnes Scott College
  • Yi Deng, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of North Georgia
  • Jose Perez, Member of the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia
  • Michael Proulx, Associate Professor Ancient Mediterranean World, Department of History, Anthropology, & Philosophy, University of North Georgia
  • Moderator: Anna Stenport, Professor of Global Studies, Chair of the School of Modern Languages; Founding Co-Director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center, Georgia Tech

1-2:30pm — Peace, Justice, and Strong Communities for Ethnolinguistic Populations in and from Burma/Myanmar (UN SDG#16)

Learn about the crisis in Myanmar/Burma from trusted experts. Hear from activists about the reality of human rights violations against the Karen and Rohingya and the challenges of refugees. How can we put pressure on international and U.S. leaders and policy makers to protect human rights, support the movement for a genuine democracy in Myanmar/Burma, and address humanitarian needs?

Moderator: Myra Dahgaypaw, Managing Director, U.S. Campaign for Burma


  • Dr. Kyle Anderson, Senior Director of Global Engagement, Clemson University
  • Eh Nay Thaw, Advocacy Coordinator for the Karen Organization of America
  • Ayub Mohammed, Founder and President, Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia
  • Dr. Wakar Uddin, Founding Chairman of Burmese Rohingya Association of North America and Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Background readings and news sources suggested by panel:

6-6:30pm — Meet the Expert: Live Virtual Session for K16 Teachers 
Educating Global Citizens: Teaching the U.N. SDGs through a Global Competence Framework

Global competence, critical to ensuring our youth are capable citizens in both local and global communities, is multi-faceted and includes cognitive development, socio-emotional skills, and civic learning. It has four overlapping dimensions that students will need to interact successfully with people face-to-face and virtually: investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action. This session will cover how educators can easily address the U.N. SDGs in their classrooms by implementing a global competence framework. The speaker will share assessment tools and resources for K-12 classroom teachers.

Watch the pre-recorded presentation and attend the live session to talk with Dr. Chowdhary about how you can apply this framework to your teaching.

Dr. Neelam Chowdhary, Executive Director
Global Learning Programs

6:30-7pm — Meet the Expert: Live Virtual Session for K16 Teachers 
Designing Virtual Exchange Projects for K12 and College Educators

Watch the pre-recorded presentation and attend the live session to talk with Dr. Zhao about how to implement virtual exchange in your classes.

Dr. Yali Zhao, Associate Professor
Social Studies and Multicultural Education
College of Education and Human Development
Georgia State University

Friday, April 23

10:30-12 pm — The Future of Global Diplomacy around the World in the Biden Era - Part 1

Dignitaries contextualize U.S. diplomacy and recent events in their respective regions of the world, share insights about the U.S. relationship with their countries specifically, and give audiences a glimpse of what to expect from the Biden administration in the next four years.


  • Consul of Greece in Atlanta, Theodoros Dimopoulos
  • Consul General of Brazil in Atlanta, Carlos Henrique Moojen de Abreu e Silva
  • Ambassador Louise Blais, Acting Consul General of Canada to the Southeast U.S.

Moderator: Dr. Anthony Lemieux

1-2:30 pm — The Future of Global Diplomacy around the World in the Biden Era - Part 2

An opportunity to debrief the morning session with expert faculty from Georgia State University’s global and regional centers.

Moderator: Dr. Anthony Lemieux

Faculty from GSU Regional Centers of Expertise:

3:30-5 pm — Race Beyond Borders Keynote Address

Sheila Walker PhotoDr. Sheila Walker

Sheila S Walker, PhD, cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, has done fieldwork, lectured, and participated in intellectual and cultural events in most of Africa and the Global African Diaspora. Her goal is now to educate the public about the Global African Diaspora. Her book, African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of the Americas, has a companion documentary, Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora. Her latest book, Conocimiento desde adentro: Los afro-sudamericanos hablan de sus pueblos y sus historias/Conhecimento desde dentro: Os afro-sul-americanos falam de seus povos e suas histórias/Knowledge from the Inside: Afro-South Americans Speak of their People and their Histories (in Spanish and Portuguese), features chapters by Afrodescendants from all the Spanish-speaking countries in South America. Her most recent documentary, Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora, was shown at the United Nations as the 2018 Black History Month program for the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, and was sent for showings at UN Information Centers in the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe.

Moderator: Dr. Pushpa Parekh, Chair of African Diaspora and the World Program, Spelman College

*Guests who register will receive a password-protected link to Familiar Faces; Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora

The Atlanta Global Studies Center deeply appreciates the following organizations for their collaboration, support, and engagement in planning and hosting the 2021 Atlanta Global Studies Symposium. 

GAcGEAR partner logos