Upwardly Global’s 2023 Gala Showcases Immigrant and Refugee Workforce Inclusion in Action

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LinkedIn, Standard Chartered, and distinguished corporate leaders honored for advocacy in building an inclusive workforce

NEW YORK — The curtains have drawn on Upwardly Global’s successful annual Equity Gala, which took place on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at the iconic Tribeca Rooftop in New York City. The Gala not only celebrated the remarkable achievements of the Upwardly Global community nationwide but also passionately championed the cause of immigrant and refugee workforce inclusion into the future.

“Celebrating the triumphs of our immigrant and refugee community at Upwardly Global’s 2023 Gala has been a powerful reminder that inclusion strengthens us all. As we continue in our mission, let us remember that every individual’s success is a building block for a more equitable and prosperous society,” says Jina Krause-Vilmar, Upwardly Global CEO and President.

The Upwardly Global Gala is an annual tradition that unites our diverse community of corporate and advocacy leaders for a night filled with gratitude and celebration. The event serves as the bedrock of our community, providing a platform to recognize our shared accomplishments and express our appreciation to the invaluable partners who have played a pivotal role in our community’s success.

Honorees at the event included Yuri Brodsky, Managing Director of LionTree LLC; LinkedIn, 2023 Corporate Honoree; Standard Chartered, 2023 Corporate Honoree; and Nielsen Corporation, 2023 Corporate Champion award winner.

The event also featured special guests Anastasiia Sokolova, Technical Recruiter at Raj Technologies and Upwardly Global alum; TiWanna Kenney, Founder and Principal Auctioneer at Astounding Auctions; and host Yasmin Vossoughian, Emmy award-winning journalist and weekend news anchor on “MSNBC Reports.” Special thanks to the Gala Co-Chairs, Krishan Bhatia, President and Chief Business Officer at NBCUniversal; David Kenny, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Nielsen Corporation; and Tony Goncalves, former Chief Revenue Officer at WarnerMedia. 

“I have done so many stories on refugees throughout my career, and [Upwardly Global] is so integral to the growth of these refugees and immigrants in this country,” says Yasmin Vossoughian. “Despite what many people say, this country is built on the backs of both immigrants and refugees that are just seeking to live the American dream like everybody else.”

The Gala highlighted the compelling narratives of immigrants and refugees who overcome systemic barriers to secure professional jobs and create shared prosperity. It’s worth noting that Upwardly Global’s network of professional immigrants and refugees contributes more than $400 million annually to the economy, delivering an outstanding return of $40 for every $1 invested in their journey.

“For people like my parents with international educational and work backgrounds but limited U.S. networks, an organization like Upwardly Global is critical,” says Yuri Brodsky. “The benefits of immigration, which for decades fueled growth in America, now seem to have been forgotten — we know immigrants tend to take risks, innovate, solve problems and work hard. 

“Upwardly Global supports immigrants and refugees on this path. The return on what they do and on your all contributions today is a massive multiplier effect of positive economic and social impact.  My family is a small example of this. I hope you’ll open your heart tonight to support refugees, and individuals from over 100 countries who come to Upwardly Global with the desire to contribute.”



What: Upwardly Global’s 2023 Equity Gala

When: Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses St., New York, NY 10013

Including immigrant/refugee stories and remarks from:

  • Kelle Coleman, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Experience at Nielsen Corporation
  • R.J. Fox, Vice President of Growth, Performance, and Operations at LinkedIn and Upwardly Global Board Member
  • Yuri Brodsky, Managing Director of LionTree LLC
  • Anastasiia Sokolova, Technical Recruiter at Raj Technologies and Upwardly Global alum from Ukraine
  • Jina Krause-Vilmar, President and CEO at Upwardly Global
  • Yasmin Vossoughian, Emmy award-winning journalist and weekend news anchor on “MSNBC Reports”


About Upwardly Global

Upwardly Global’s mission is to eliminate employment barriers for low-income immigrant, refugee, and asylee professionals and to advance their inclusion into the U.S. economy. Since 2000, Upwardly Global has empowered unemployed or underemployed newcomers with the skills, career coaching, and social capital needed to rebuild their lives and careers. Learn more at UpwardlyGlobal.org.

For media inquiries, please contact media@upwardlyglobal.org.

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