October 21, 2020 at 6 P.M.
Central Asian Town Hall: The Case of Kyrgyz-Americans
Please join the Kyrgyz American Foundation and the NYC Mayor's Offices of Immigrant and Community Affairs for a virtual round table discussion on the Kyrgyz diaspora in the United States. The round table will bring together scholars from Kyrgyzstan and the U.S., as well as representatives of the Kyrgyz diaspora in New York, to discuss the intersection of migration, mobility, and diaspora inquiries with a focus on the distinctive features of the Kyrgyz diaspora in the United States.
The U.S. became a top destination for many migrants from Central Asia and other Asian countries. There are about 12.8 million people in the Asian diaspora, and Central Asians, in particular Kyrgyz Americans, make up one of the recent, yet active, diasporas. The Kyrgyz diaspora is still emerging and its formation story differs from that of other Central Asian diasporas, such as those from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. The Kyrgyz started to arrive mainly after 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved, most settling in the New York metropolitan area. In the mid-1990s and the 2000s, U.S. educational programs gained prominence in Kyrgyzstan. Thousands of Kyrgyzstani students pursued educational opportunities in the U.S. As economic conditions deteriorated and political instability intensified, other Kyrgyz began to move to the U.S. in search of economic opportunities.
The field of diaspora studies emerged in the late 20th Century in the wake of the collapse of socialist systems, political instabilities and nationalist movements in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The migration of people from the aforementioned regions, many from countries undergoing the process of political and economic development, marked the emergence of new diaspora politics along with a redistribution of resources, power, and opportunities in recipient countries.
The round table will bring together scholars from Kyrgyzstan and the U.S., as well as representatives of the Kyrgyz diaspora in New York, to discuss the intersection of migration, mobility, and diaspora inquiries with a focus on the distinctive features of the Kyrgyz diaspora in the United States.
Dr. Saltanat Liebert
Associate Professor at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Erica Marat
Associate Professor and Director of the Homeland Defense Fellowship Program at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University
NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
NYC Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs Unit
Moderated by Aza Sydykov, Kyrgyz American Foundation
This event is free and open to the public.