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Speakers & Program

Courage to Lead Award

This award recognizes one Democrat and one Republican who work across the aisle to advance bipartisan immigration solutions. This year’s honorees, Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), joined the Forum’s executive director, Ali Noorani, in conversation, discussing their support for immigration reform.

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Senator James Lankford (R-OK)

Watch Courage to Lead

Plenary 1: Strengthening & Growing America’s Economy

This plenary examined the impact immigrants and refugees have had on the American economy. From Colorado to Idaho to Indiana, business leaders spoke on the importance of retaining talented graduates from U.S. universities, finding employees with the right skills, and ensuring businesses have enough workers.

Tracy Jan, Moderator

Race & Economics Reporter,

The Washington Post

Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin


American Action Forum

Marya Rose


Cummins Inc

Jeff Wasden


Colorado Business Roundtable

Pete Wiersma


Idaho Dairymen’s Association

Watch Plenary 1: America's Economy

Plenary 2: Understanding & Interpreting the American Electorate

Nine days after the mid-terms, this plenary analyzed the role of culture in shaping the 2018 election cycle and explored how the election results will affect the immigration landscape. Speakers agreed that the current administration’s rhetoric — on the caravan and the wall — failed with many moderate and center-left voters.

Molly Ball, Moderator

National Political Corr.,


Tim Dixon


More in Common

Lomi Kriel


Houston Chronicle

Kevin Murphy


Driscoll’s Inc

Watch Plenary 2: America's Economy

Plenary 3: Protecting & Upholding American Ideals

The plenary unpacked the on-going debate as to whether immigrants and refugees threaten the American way of life and pose security risks or protect and enrich American culture. Speakers saw the need for border protection that is both strong and compassionate towards asylum seekers and immigrants.

Mindy Belz, Moderator

Senior Editor,

World Magazine

Shirley V. Hoogstra

President, CCCU

Scott McConnell

Executive Director,

LifeWay Research

Sheriff Margaret Mims

Fresno County, California

Watch Plenary 3: American Ideals

Master of Ceremonies

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

Ambassador & General

Superintendent Emerita,

The Wesleyan Church

About Leading the Way 2018

This exclusive, invitation-only gathering brings together faith, law enforcement and business leaders in Washington, DC to discuss the future of immigration.

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