Stateless in the U.S. and Global Media

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Nikolai Levasov

Founding member / Steering Committee / Outreach Coordinator / Statelessness in Detention Program

Nikolai speaks English and Russian.

Николай говорит по-английски и по-русски.


Heather Alexander

Steering Committee / Advocate & Ally / Outreach Coordinator / JD & PhD in law at Tilburg University


Heather is a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar Association. She is also proficient in French.

2019 Fall Convening & Information Session

October 25 – 27, 2019 in Washington D.C.


In October 2019, members and allies of United Stateless organized its fall convening. We invited people who work on the issue of statelessness or work more generally on refugee and immigrant rights. This gathering was an opportunity to learn more about statelessness, what it means to be a stateless person living in the U.S., and how being stateless impacts our lives. Our hope is that by bringing people together, we can build a bigger circle of allies to help raise awareness of and end statelessness in the U.S.


Oct. 25th

12 – 1PM Brown Bag Lunch with UNHCR

United Stateless held a Brown Bag Lunch with UNHCR staff who have some understanding of statelessness but don't know the context of statelessness in the U.S.

3 – 4:30PM Information Session at Akin Gump
Attendees have the opportunity to learn more about statelessness, what it means to be a stateless person living in the U.S., and how being stateless impacts lives.Goal to build a bigger circle of allies to help raise awareness of and end statelessness in the U.S.

Oct. 26th

Visioning Meeting with United Stateless Members and Allies

Oct. 27th

United Stateless Board Meeting

We discussed current structure, how its working, and areas for improvement or clarification (Board, project leads, teams/committees), shared recent survey results and board agreements, as well as next steps for developing 2020 budget and document laying out mission, vision, goals, activities.

World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion

June 26 – 28, 2019 in The Hague, The Netherlands


In June 2019, allies of United Stateless attended the World Conference on Statelessness in the Hague, organized by the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion and the CANCELLED Arts Programme. Unfortunately, no members of United Stateless were able to attend, due to travel restrictions stemming from their statelessness. A video about United Stateless was shown during the opening plenary. (View the video here!) The video was a huge success and one of the most talked about feature of the entire conference. A second video on the Stateless in Detention Project of United Stateless was shown during a panel on statelessness and detention. United Stateless also hosted a happy hour for allies, partners and friends. During the event, stateless activists from around the world expressed interest in working with United Stateless in the future. ​

United Stateless 4th Planning Retreat in NYC

April 5 – 7, 2019


April 5–7, 2019 — We held our 4th planning retreat to set our goals and priorities for the coming year. As always, our time together was also was a chance to reflect, rejuvenate, and support one another as stateless people and allies. We set goals for growing our outreach efforts to educate more people about this issue, for building out media/social media presence, and building our organizational capacity.  We also developed our plans for supporting stateless people who are in immigration detention and working with cities to make sure municipal IDs are accessible to people who are stateless. Finally, we talked about what more we need to do to move us toward our ultimate vision of ending statelessness in the U.S.


Our Greeting for the World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion ​

As stateless people, we do not have the travel documents that would allow us to travel outside the USA to participate in the World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion, which will take place in the Hague, Netherlands in June. While we can’t be there in person, we wanted to be there in spirit and send a greeting from New York City’s Battery Park, as we looked out at the Statue of Liberty... How ironic, isn’t it?

April 6th, 2019 — We were honored to meet the leaders behind the UNHCR's #IBELONG campaign on Saturday, April 6th and to go on a guided tour of the United Nations building. We kept asking ourselves, are we on a different ground here, is this like international waters? It did feel for a moment that we were no longer in the United States, but rather simply, and perhaps ceremoniously, on this planet.


April 5th, 2019 — United Stateless hosted a “Happy Hour.” It was a time to see old friends and to make new ones. This was our first-ever “friend raising” event and we are so grateful to all those who came out to join us in building community. Thanks to you, we are gaining new powerful allies to help us find solutions.

April 4th, 2019 —  We met with students studying human rights at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. After we shared our stories, students asked questions ranging from "how did you find each other?" and "how do you survive day to day life?" to "what can be done?" and "what can we do?"  Many thanks to Professor Betsy Apple and her students for having us.

Migration Symposium at Columbia University in the City of New York

November 9th, 2018


​On Nov 9, 2018 founding members of United Stateless Ekaterina and Karina Ambartsoumian-Clough participated in Beyond Representation: Migration Symposium at SIPA, Columbia University.


What does Representation mean in the context of human migration and displacement? Academics, policymakers, and cultural leaders gathered for an afternoon of inclusive and vibrant conversation on that question. Karina and Ekaterina brought the issue of statelessness to the table. Representation can mean many things. To the stateless individual it means the world, literally. We asked the room to raise their hands to show how many were indeed represented as citizens of a nation — any nation. Everyone except Karina and Ekaterina raised their hands.


Keynote speakers

Firas Kayal, Senior Policy Advisor, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, New York Office Ashraf El Nour (Director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Office to the United Nations in New York) Ravi Ragbir, Immigrant Rights Activist and Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York