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International Institute of Wisconsin to Host Annual World Citizen Celebration Dinner

April 1, 2014

The International Institute of Wisconsin (IIW), an organization dedicated to the promotion of international cooperation, understanding, and a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural perspective, will host its annual World Citizen Celebration dinner on Sat., May 3.

The event will be held at the Women’s Club of Wisconsin, 813 E. Kilbourn Ave. in Milwaukee, with a reception and silent auction at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m., and program at 9:00 p.m.
The 2014 event will salute those that have played a leadership role in shaping the IIW and its commitment to the local and global communities. The following people will be recognized at the event:

• Drs. Laurel and Brian Bear, Volunteers with the Global Medical Brigade: World Citizen Award
• Lupe Martinez, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS): World Citizen Award
• Aprik Weitzer, Armenian Graphic Artist: Expressive Cultural Heritage Award
• International Crane Foundation: Corporate Citizens Award

Dr. Laurel Bear and her husband Dr. Brian Bear, volunteers with the Global Medical Brigades, recently attended respectively their ninth and eighth international medical brigades. The Bear’s have traveled with students from Marquette University to Honduras, and this year to Nicaragua, to provide costless health care for rural communities.

Brian Bear is an obstetrician and gynecologist serving the greater Milwaukee community since 1989. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Bear differentiates himself through his passion for the After Breast Cancer Diagnosis Foundation, in which he has served on the advisory board and as a direct advocate for women in the Milwaukee community for 10 years.
Laurel Bear is pediatrician with a degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin. In 2012, she received the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Distinguished Alumni award for her commitment to her profession, domestically and internationally. She also received the 2014 Humanitarian Award from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

For 45 years, Martinez has worked at UMOS, a Hispanic, non-profit agency providing services to the Milwaukee and national Latino communities, as well as aiding the growth of Wisconsin’s welfare-to-work program for persons of all nationalities. A former migrant worker who began his work with UMOS as an outreach worker, Martinez has been honored with the Cesar Chavez Humanitarian Award, having grown up in Texas and marched during the grape boycott with Chavez himself.

Martinez’s leadership has led UMOS from a single office to a nationally recognized organization for its work in providing housing, healthcare, immigrant services, and domestic violence support. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Martinez has nationalized UMOS with branch offices in Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas. In addition to sitting on the board for the national council La Raza, Martinez is chairman for the National Farm Worker Alliance, on the Board of Directors for Farmworker Justice, President of the Wisconsin Migrant Coalition, and a member of the Governor’s Council on Migrant Labor.

Weitzer, an Armenian artist who was born and raised in Sochi, Russia and received five years of formal training, was accepted into the Moscow School of Applied Arts at age 16. Shortly after graduating, she moved to the United States and became an art professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Weitzer completed over 100 privately commissioned art pieces, many of which are featured in galleries across Europe and the United States. Her artwork is best appreciated in natural light and is accentuated by her use of color, light, and detail.

The International Crane Foundation was established in 1973 to foster conservational education, ecosystem protection, and wetland and water restoration for both international and domestic communities, whilst highlighting the 15 species of cranes around the world. The foundation’s headquarters rests on 225 acres of land in Baraboo, Wis., which frequently hosts international partners, scientists, and parliamentary leaders from South Africa, Russia, China, Vietnam, and South Korea.

The international platform of the foundation thrives in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. The foundation, which works within rural communities to cultivate sustainable water sources, as well as land and energy resources, emphasizes the conservation of natural habitats for many species, along with safeguarding the current agricultural practices within these communities. It strives to enrich these regions through the education of community members on water security, clean energy, land stewardship, climate change adaptation, and conservation-friendly livelihoods.

The keynote address will be made by John Zogby Senior Analyst for Zogby Analytics and author of “First Globals.” Zogby is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Zogby International, a polling firm established in 1984. He is known for his highly accurate polling techniques of United States presidential elections, in which he would call an election with pinpoint accuracy.

Today, Zogby and his son Jonathan are Senior Analysts for Zogby Analytics, conducting political polling. Having conducted highly successful polls for elections in Israel and Mexico, as well as polling Arab attitudes towards the United States, he is highly regarded for the “Zogby Poll,” a reputable polling brand. One of the most accurate pollsters and analysts of political and cultural landscapes worldwide, Zogby is known for his best-selling book “The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream.”

The cost of the World Citizen Celebration dinner is $95 per person, or $800 for a table of eight, with $45 of the amount tax deductible per person. Proceeds from the event will be used to support IIW children’s workshops and the Education Day Cultural Program that is held at the annual Holiday Folk Fair International. For more information and/or to make a reservation, call 414-225-6220, ext. 103.

The IIW initiates, coordinates, and sponsors a variety of activities and programs appropriate to the fulfillment of its purpose, including immigration and social services, refugee resettlement, citizen diplomacy, and interpretation and translation. In addition, the IIW produces the annual Holiday Folk Fair International, with the 2014 event to be held Fri., Nov. 21 – Sun., Nov. 23 at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park.

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