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Lori Kaplan

From 1979 to 2018 Lori worked at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), a multi-service youth and family center for immigrant and refugee youth who reside in the DC metropolitan area.  She served as CEO for 30 years.  She has been involved in many local, regional and national issues that impact the lives of refugees and immigrants in the area of immigration, health, employment and has served as a policy advocate to regional mayors and county executives.  While at the LAYC she was the founder of three public charter schools designed to offer opportunity and re-engagement support to young people between the ages of 16-24 who have dropped out of traditional public school settings.  During that time, with a team of experts, she was also one of the founders of a bilingual Pre-K through 5th bilingual Montessori Spanish immersion charter school.

Vision Statement
For 40 years I worked in the national capital area with young people from all over the world.   I worked with refugees forced out of their countries due to war, political oppression, poverty and famine.  I worked with immigrants who have come to our region searching for better social, educational and economic opportunities.  Many of our immigrant families are refugees fleeing political oppression but due to country specific US foreign policy decisions they are not recognized as refugees.  This has recently worsened due to current US Central American policy.  To address current and future global issues it is of critical importance that students understand their world well beyond their neighborhoods and communities.  The UN-NCA plays a critical education and advocacy role introducing students to global issues including women’s issues, migration and the environment.   I am committed to working with the UN-NCA to continue and expand its critically important work in the region.