~ 2020 Dates to be Announced ~

The annual two-day Building Bridges conference brings together service providers, educators, and community leaders who work with refugee families. As our communities become more diverse, a strong network of collaborators in needed. 


Regular Pricing

Full Conference - To be announced

One-Day - To be announced

Student/Pastor - To be announced

Presenters and presentations from 2019

Cari Skogberg Eastman, an independent researcher, writer, and educator from Sioux Falls. Skogberg Eastman’s doctoral studies focused largely on development communication, with a primary focus on media and civil society — particularly in relation to the immigration debate. Her dissertation research focused on public reception and understanding of border and immigration issues, particularly those involving the U.S.-Mexico border that were influenced by media coverage of civil society organizations active in that area.


Her writing on immigration earned her an honorable mention Thompson Award for Western American Writing from the Center of the American West. She has presented academic papers on the issue of immigration both nationally and internationally, been invited to lecture on the topic at various universities within the U.S. and has also co-authored journal articles about undocumented immigrant children.






Helen Thorpe was born in London to Irish parents. She is the author of three books, Just Like Us, Soldier Girls, and The New-comers. Her books are works of narrative nonfiction that document in a human and intimate way the lives of immigrants, refugees and veterans of foreign conflicts.


The Newcomers was described by The New York Times as “a delicate and heartbreaking mystery story” about 22 immigrant and refugee teenagers who share one classroom while learning English together. That newspaper went on to say, “Thorpe’s book is a reminder that in an era of nativism, some Americans are still breaking down walls and nurturing newcomers, the seeds of the great American experiment.”


Thorpe’s magazine journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, Westword, Chalkbeat, and 5280. She lives in Denver.


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Dr. David Shlim is author of over 40 original research papers and has written over 20 chapters in textbooks on travel medicine. He was a pioneer in travel medicine research on typhoid fever, hepatitis, altitude illness and other serious traveling ailments. He helped discover a new protozoal pathogen (Cyclospora) that causes diarrhea in humans.


Dr. Shlim co-wrote “Medicine and Compassion,” a book that offers advice from a Tibetan Buddhist lama on methods of training in compassion for health care professionals. He is past president of the International Society of Travel Medicine, and medical editor of “Health Information for International Travel,” (aka “The Yellow Book”), which is produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the primary source of information for all travel health practitioners in the United States.


LinkedIn | Website




Basel Mousselly is Program Manager for Detention Visitation at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Baltimore, Mary-land area. His position requires managing annual site visit schedules for assigned sites and evaluating Reception and Placement and Matching Grant post-arrival affiliates’ programs to analyze progress and capacity. 


2019 Keynote Publications

2019 Conference Photos

2019 Conference Presentations

When available, we're happy to provide PowerPoint slides from our keynotes and breakout sessions. Below are the presentations currently available from the 2019 Building Bridges Conference:






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