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Petrirena Panel Discussion

Apr 19, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Free event

Mario Petrirena is joined by experts in the fields of law, immigration, Latin American support, and more to discuss the historical and current situations of global immigration and refugees.

6:30P reception     |     7P talk

Moderated by David Schaefer of the Latin American Association


David Schaefer is the Advocacy Director at the Latin American Association (LAA), the longest serving and largest provider of social and immigration legal services in Atlanta’s Latino community.

Prior to coming to the LAA in 2014, David worked at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro for six years as a grant writer, editor and associate chief of staff, where he focused on policy and co-founded ALIANZA, a university alliance of Latino students, faculty and staff. During his career, David has been a college instructor, paralegal and immigration attorney and helped found a church ministry serving African and Middle Eastern refugees. In 2014, the North Carolina Triad Business Journal recognized him as a 40 Under 40 leader.

David earned his law degree and a master of arts in political science from the University of Georgia. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, has served as legislative chair for the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (Atlanta) and is licensed to practice law in Georgia and North Carolina.

Born in Atlanta, David was raised in middle Georgia in a German-Argentine-American family, and his wife is Afro-Cuban/Venezuelan. They live in Atlanta with their son.


Shana Tabak, visiting assistant professor at Georgia State Law, teaches and writes in the areas of Asylum and Refugee Law, Immigration Law and Human Rights. Previously, she taught at the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University, Washington College of Law, and George Washington University Law School. She served as a law clerk for H.E. Bernardo Sepulveda Amor at the International Court of Justice at The Hague in the Netherlands. Tabak also is affiliated with the Global Studies Institute at Georgia State.

She has worked with several human and immigrant rights organizations in the U.S., Latin America, and in the Middle East. Her immigration and refugee experience includes handling cases on behalf of immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence at the Tahirih Justice Center in Washington, D.C., and on behalf of Iraqi refugees while working with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Amman, Jordan. During law school, she worked at the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, and Foley Hoag Law Firm, focusing on international arbitration and corporate social responsibility. Tabak currently serves as the Chair of the Georgia Immigration Working Group, a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to improve access to counsel for immigrants in Georgia, focusing on unaccompanied children and detained immigrants.

Mark Newman has over 30 years of experience in immigration law and has been consistently ranked as a top immigration lawyer by Chambers USA and U.S. News – Best Lawyers. He leads the firm’s immigration practice, providing sophisticated advice, training, compliance, and advocacy services to corporations, executives and specialized employees. Mark analyzes international transfers on a daily basis and advises all size of companies on work permits and business visas. He is often engaged in challenging matters dealing with appeals, re-filings and Requests for Evidence. He also advises on outbound visa work. Many of his clients are entrepreneurs and investors, as well as General Counsels, CEO’s and Directors of HR. As Chair of the Atlanta Office Pro Bono Committee, Mark manages some of the firm’s significant pro bono contributions, which resulted in the 2013 National Public Service Award by the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section.

Mario Petrirena was born in Cuba and was raised during the political upheaval of the 1960s. At the age of 8, he was one of 14,000 children evacuated to America during Operation Pedro Pan. At an early age, he began facing the challenges of dual heritage and identity that many immigrants and refugees still face today. Petrirena’s work, a combination of ceramics, installation pieces, and collage, reflects both the struggles and the value of his dual identities in an emotional and intuitive manner.

Petrirena received BA from the University of Florida in 1977 and his MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1981. His 30+ year career has been extremely successful as evidenced by numerous awards and solo exhibitions. He has exhibited throughout the nation at museums such as The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the High Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. He was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1988 and Pollock/Krasner Fellowship in 2006. He is included in multiple publications.


75 Bennett Streeet
Atlanta, GA 30309 United States
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