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Noon to 9:30 p.m.
The Falls Event Center
4105 W. Fig Garden Dr.
Fresno, CA 93722


“Join us for a day as we reflect on the past 20 years and recollect how we have walked alongside the Central Valley’s immigrants and refugees through their journeys for justice.”

The Pan-Valley Institute (PVI) was launched in 1998 as a pilot project under a Civic Participation Initiative supported by the James Irvine Foundation. It was envisioned that PVI would promote a popular education approach that would enhance the American Friend’s Service Committee’s (AFSC) long-standing farmworker organizing and advocacy program work in the Central Valley. The prevailing goal has been to provide resources and support that will allow immigrant and refugee communities to lead and thrive in the Central Valley.

Over the past 20 years, PVI has brought together diverse groups of grassroots immigrant leaders from across cultures, ethnicities, genders and generations in popular education workshops and gatherings. We have learned that although current immigrants and refugees are struggling with experiences of social isolation, economic inequality, marginalization, and cultural discrimination, they are determined to build a productive and enriching place for themselves in California’s Central Valley. PVI’s efforts have provided safe spaces for dialogue and have encouraged immigrants to support one another as they build community cohesiveness, a sense of belonging and find an active place to contribute to their new society.

The ongoing struggles of our ever-increasing immigrant and refugee populations only serve to reinforce the importance of the work we’re doing at PVI. It is our hope to start the next 20 years of our quest for justice and equality by focusing on how far we have come, and to begin blazing a trail forward, as we still have far to go.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Noon – 9:30 p.m.

Se Hace Camino al Andar/ We Make the Path as We Walk
Using photos taken of PVI’s events and inner workings since its inception, this multimedia exhibit narrates the accomplishments and learning experienced by the different groups of people who have played a role in this unique popular education experiment.

10 a.m. – Noon
This round of platicas (community dialogues) provides a unique space for individuals interested in engaging in intimate dialogue about current affairs impacting immigrant leaders, particularly women. It also offers opportunities for sharing social change and movement building practices. Discussion topics will include:

• Challenges immigrant women face as organizers
• Cultural organizing practice learning exchange
• Where do we go from here?


Noon – 2 p.m.
The cultural kitchen has been a staple of PVI’s cultural organizing practices. It was started in 2000 by a group of Hmong, Latina and Indigenous Mexican women who believed a food exchange would enhance their efforts to reach a cultural understanding of commonalities and differences. Since then, we have celebrated numerous cultural kitchens, a practice that has served as an exercise to strengthen multiethnic relationships through the process of learning about their shared migration journeys.

This particular cultural kitchen highlights the food of Syrian refugees who began arriving in Fresno in late 2016. We will present excerpts of the cookbook “Syrian Recipes from Home” by Nour Al Mushantaf. This event gives refugees recently arrived from the Arab world the opportunity to share their stories, and allows observers to learn more about our Muslim and Middle Eastern neighbors.

It also features Hmong, Zapoteco, Mixteco, and other immigrant cuisines, highlighting the chefs and entrepreneurs that are emerging from these communities and helping add new flavors to the Valley’s already rich cultural diversity.

3 – 5 p.m.
This round of platicas (community dialogues) is open to the public and provides space for engaging in dialogue about current affairs impacting immigrants, refugees and all people of color as a result of the negative rhetoric and criminalizing policies promoted by the current administration. Discussion topics will include:

• Protecting and counteracting hate
• Food sovereignty
• Understanding human mobility from an interfaith perspective
• U.S. history of exclusion

Noon – 9:30 p.m.
Please visit the silent auction and help us raise funds to continue supporting Central Valley immigrants and refugees in their struggles to bring social justice and human dignity to the region.

5 – 5:30 p.m.
Following the tradition started during the first Tamejavi Festival in 2002, this space acknowledges the history and long-time presence in the Central Valley of our Native American brothers and sisters. Conducted by two of the Chukchansi tribe’s female spiritual leaders, this blessing ceremony will spiritually guide us into closing one cycle of work and opening a new one.

6 – 9:30 p.m.
To commemorate PVI’s first 20 years, we mark both our accomplishments and the challenges we face while preparing for the next cycle of work. As we begin writing the next chapter in our story of supporting the immigrant movement and building influence, we celebrate with stories, music and poetry, and gather in joy with our longtime friends, constituency and supporters.

  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food Fun

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales