Next Program

Programs begin at 7 p.m.

Welcoming the Stranger: The Immigrant and Refugee Experience in St. Louis

Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m.
Center of Clayton
50 Gay Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105

Please let us know you’re coming here.

Have you ever been to a foreign country and needed help? How did you find it? Did you feel welcome? 

Speakers Sal Valadez and Moji Sidiqi will share their personal stories of being immigrants to the US, finding their way to St. Louis, and their dedication to serving the immigrant populations in our area. Currently the St. Louis area has around 135,000 immigrants, which accounts for about 4.8% of the population. 

Sal Valadez is the diversity, outreach and marketing representative for the Laborers International Union of North America- Midwest Region. He also has been instrumental in informing Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities of their voting rights as co-chair of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition’s Language Access Committee. He is also the co-founder and board chair of ECORN-MO (Ethnic Community Opioid Response Network), which provides mental health and opioid substance use disorder multimedia resources in 12 languages. Valadez is a member of several public, private, and nonprofit boards and committees focused on workforce development and public health issues and the disparities experienced by marginalized and underrepresented communities.

Moji Sidiqi is the director for multicultural affairs and Afghan outreach for the International Institute of St. Louis. She was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. At the age of 9 her family made their way to the US through the UNHCR’s third country refugee resettlement program. An avid activist, Sidiqi champions human rights, especially women’s empowerment. Sidiqi has been honored with the Inclusion Award from the United Nations Association of St. Louis, Excellence in Community Service by St Louis City, and has received the Award for Exceptional Neighbor from the city and St. Louis City Soccer Club. 

Valadez and Sidiqi will inspire us and share what we can do to support their efforts as they work to make our neighbors feel welcomed and be successful in our St. Louis region.