This panel offers insights into the social migration from Africa to other parts of the world, with emphasis on the continuing refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. Yegizaw Michael (award-winning artist), Almez Eshetie (Refugee Womens Alliance, Seattle), and Simon Okelo (One Vibe) give context to the migration out of Africa, the dire realities of being a displaced person, and what individuals can do to make a difference.

REGISTRATION: Register here.


  • Yegizaw Michael is a prominent artist from Eritrea. He has exhibited his art in Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, United States and Austria. In 1995 he was the Best Artist of the Year in Kenya and is a two-time winner of Eritrea’s Raimok National Art Award for 1996 and 1997. He has several public arts commissions in the Pacific Northwest region.
  • Almaz Eshetie joined ReWA (Refugee Womens Alliance) as a housing case manager. She speaks Amharic and is from Ethiopia where she had a 13 year career with the United Nations in logistics, and communications outreach for development programs.
  • Simon Okelo founded One Vibe, a global arts and education organization, to encourage youth to participate in critical engagement of culture, art, music, technology, and education. Raised in the slums of Manyatta in Kisumu, Simon discovered his own potential in art and music, organizing “Unite the People” Concerts in Kisumu in the wake of the 2007 post-election violence. Simon honed his skills in the non-profit business as director at Young Generation Center in Kisumu, Field Director for Africa for Solace International, and Associate Director for MED25 International.

HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY: BIMA requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for all attendees of programs held in the Frank Buxton Auditorium or BIMA Classroom. Masks are required for all attendees regardless of vaccination status. Learn more about this policy here.

You'll Also Enjoy