Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans Fall Conference

October 2021. Nashville, Multiple Locations

After a year hiatus, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans decided to bring together their newest cohorts of Fellows for their annual Fall conference in Nashville, TN. Their leadership and Board of Directors called on Empire once again to serve as their production partner for this important gathering.

The Fall Conference hosted the three most recent classes of Fellows, as well as members of the Board of Directors, and a select group of alumni. The weekend was strategically designed as a multi-day retreat consisting of social, educational and conversational sessions and activities. Its goals included bringing the newest classes of Fellows together, recognizing and celebrating the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States, and fostering the sense of community and direct connections between Fellows.

To accomplish this cohesion, event programming was built around common themes of immigration, leadership, innovation, and mental health and targeted to attendees across multiple cohorts and disciplines, age ranges and professions.

Nashville was chosen as the host city both for its rich history and role as a cultural center, but also for its metropolitan government’s work with New Americans to engage and empower immigrants to participate in government and community.

The weekend kicked off on Thursday evening with Fellow arrivals and registration at the Sheraton Grand Downtown, followed by a welcome dinner and private performance by American singer-songwriter, Joy Oladokun,

Friday morning began with breakfast and optional morning activities including an outdoor exercise bootcamp at Capital City Park and a tour of Nashville’s New American communities.

Programing took place at the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition with food truck activations for lunch and a panel discussion with Robert Fisher, Senior Advisor of Results for America, Dr. Stephanie King the Director of Health Equity Bureau for Nashville’s Metro Public Health, and Fabian Bedne, Senior Manager of Community Development in the Office of Nashville Mayor John Cooper. The opening session was followed by a special blue grass performance by PD Soros Executive Director, Craig Harwood.

Curated one-on-one conversations amongst the Fellows ended the day’s program. Friday evening included the a cocktail reception where Fellows had the opportunity to meet and greet with Mrs. Daisy Soros and family before heading out to their individual class dinners at restaurants in the city. One group of Fellows went to Lyra, a restaurant in East Nashville, and the chef shared his New American story with them in the private dining room. The evening closed with an epic line dance party with cocktails and a DJ in the Skye Lounge at the top of the Sheraton Grand.

Saturday afternoon included tours at unique locations around the city of Nashville including, Thistle Farms, Cheekwood Botanical Garden, Nashville Food Project, The Healing Trust with Jen Bailey, and The National Museum of African American Music. The evening’s dinner was held at the Grand Old Opry where Fellows had a chance to experience the variety act performances in one of America’s longest running radio broadcasts and shows. The event featured Carrie Underwood as the closing performer.

The weekend came to a close on Sunday starting with a conversation between four Fellowship Alumni who are making an impact in the South and concluded with closing remarks by Mrs. Daisy M. Soros, whose heartfelt words created a shared moment for the Fellowship and instilled a sense of legacy in each attendee.

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans Fall Conference was a celebration of diverse cultures and a touchstone for the newest classes of Fellows that make up the growing Fellowship community.

Empire worked closely with The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships team, and the various departments at The Sheraton Grand Downtown, and the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition team to plan and execute each component of the weekend. Empire managed every detail of this occasion, which included concept development, programming, venue acquisition, budgeting, technical production, catering, décor, guest transportation and accommodations, and overall guest experience.

Empire is proud to have partnered with The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans to produce their Fall Conference to celebrate the Fellows, foster new Fellow bonds, and showcase the growing New American population in Nashville, TN. Empire is also honored to have had the opportunity to recognize the impact of Mrs. Daisy Soros and their family, and to reflect on the life of Mr. Paul Soros.

Empire is a leading producer of high-level events for many of the world’s leading educational institutions, associations, and foundations.

To learn more about the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans visit

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