The New York Irish Center's “Ireland Today 2022 - The Inaugural America-Ireland Youth Conference” will bring together prominent experts, educators, and students from the US and the island of Ireland to discuss urgent global topics including gender-based violence, world peace, and climate change.

IrishCentral is delighted to be partnering with the New York Irish Center to bring you the "Ireland Today 2022" free live stream video conference from this Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22. Each day will feature a two-hour panel talk moderated by distinguished thought leaders followed by a question and answer session.

Online registration for the free three-day conference is now open via The three-day conference will be live-streamed here on

Tune in this Friday, May 20 at 1 pm EST for the first panel discussion, "Gender-Based Violence: A Road to Understanding."

The aim of this conversation is to identify the causes of gender-based violence in both cultures and forge a road to solutions.

(Learn more about the second panel "Shifting Landscapes: The Value of Peace," which will be hosted on Saturday, May 21, here, and the third panel, "Tackling Climate Change Together," which will be hosted on Sunday, May 22, here.)

Moderator of "Gender-Based Violence: A Road to Understanding"

Nisha Varia, Human Rights Advocate

Nisha Varia is an experienced human rights investigator, author, advocate, and trainer who has worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Her specializations include gender discrimination and violence, labor, migration, corporate accountability, and trainings on human rights methodologies. 

Varia was advocacy director of Human Rights Watch’s women’s rights division between 2015 and 2022 and a researcher between 2003 and 2014. At Human Rights Watch, she conducted extensive research and advocacy to promote migrant domestic workers’ rights across Asia and the Middle East. Her advocacy contributed to the adoption and promotion of three international labor treaties on domestic workers’ rights, forced labor, and violence and harassment at work.

Varia develops and leads trainings on human rights research and advocacy methodologies, including techniques for interviewing survivors of trauma and gender-based violence. Varia taught a postgraduate seminar on human rights research and advocacy at the New School between 2012 and 2018. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Varia worked at the International Center for Research on Women and was a Fulbright scholar to India. Varia received a master’s degree in economic and political development from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in economics and anthropology from Stanford University. 

Panelists for "Gender-Based Violence: A Road to Understanding"

Kyle Friedler (he/him) - University of Illinois Chicago, MA Public Administration student

Kyle Friedler is currently a Graduate student at the University of  Illinois Chicago studying Public Administration with a Concentration in Nonprofit Management.

Kyle graduated from Loyola Marymount University in the spring of 2021 with a BA in Sociology and a Double Minor in Women's and Gender Studies and Film, Television, and Media Studies. In 2019 and 2021, Kyle won LMU's Student Sociology Journal's Best Paper Award for his research "Experience in the University: Comparing Women in Liberal Arts and STEM," and his senior thesis, “Pandemic Privilege: Business Policies and Labor Value During COVID-19.” He was also awarded an Honors Summer Research Grant and a RAINS Undergraduate Research Fellowship to pursue a creative research project over the summer of 2020. Writing a play titled "We Need You to Come In," Kyle combined intersections of media and social issues facing people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting graduate school in the fall of 2021, Kyle is also a member of the Division I Cross Country and Track and Field Teams at UIC. You can find him running along the lakefront or working at Fleet Feet most days of the week. 

Raven Hodges (he/him) - The Intelligence Project Research Analyst, Southern Poverty Law Center

Raven Hodges (he/him) is a research analyst at Southern Poverty Law Center, currently covering the anti-LGBTQ movement out of the Intelligence Project. He has 7 years of experience in monitoring hate and far-right extremism. Hodges pushed for the collapsing of the Black Separatist category from the SPLC Hate Map, authoring Equity Through Accuracy: Changes to Our Hate Map, to explain the rationale for this change and to make way for the new Antisemitism listing. He currently is working on a new report regarding the anti-LGBTQ movement. 

Roisin Keenan (she/her) - President, of Queen’s University Belfast’s feminist and equality society

Róisín Keenan (she/her) is a second-year undergraduate student at Queen's University Belfast studying History and International Relations. She has been the Feminist and Equality Society Events Officer and has recently been elected as the new incoming President. The drive for feminist change in our wider society and nation is her main passion and is delighted to be a part of this panel.

Stephanie Nilva (she/her) - Executive Director, Day One

Stephanie Nilva, Esq. (she/her) has been working in the domestic violence field throughout her career and has been the Executive Director of Day One since its inception. As an attorney, Stephanie practiced family and matrimonial law, specializing in domestic abuse. Immediately following law school, Stephanie was the recipient of a New York State IOLA Legal Services Fellowship designed to provide community education and direct representation in response to domestic violence in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Following her work in New York at both Legal Services for New York – Brooklyn Branch and New York Legal Assistance Group, Stephanie became the Acting Director and Managing Attorney at Community Law Center in Oakland, California. During her time in California, Stephanie also provided direct representation to clients in family law proceedings throughout Alameda County. Stephanie returned to New York and became the Executive Director of Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), an organization devoted to helping individuals navigate the New York City child welfare and family court systems. Stephanie graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she was involved in various public interest activities. She was a Senior Editor of the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal and a member of Cardozo's Bet Tzedek Legal Services Clinic. Upon her graduation, Stephanie received the Jonathan A. Weiss Award for Public Interest. As an alumna, Stephanie was recognized by the school with an award presented to graduates for distinguished public service activities. Born and raised in New York City, Stephanie graduated from Hamilton College with a Bachelor of Arts. She is admitted to the State Bars of New York, New Jersey, and California.

Online registration for the free three-day conference is now open via The three-day conference will be live-streamed here on