Advocacy in Action

LGBTI Survey

LGBTI Refugee Survey

The Refugee Congress LGBTI Caucus seeks to learn more about the resettlement experience of LGBTI refugees, both overseas and upon arrival to the United States. The members of the Caucus have put together a survey that will be used to help refugee resettlement partners and agencies identify gaps in services and create more welcoming environments with greater protections for LGBTI refugees during the resettlement process. Results from this survey will be shared with resettlement partners and organizations that work with LGBTI refugees around the world.

The survey can be taken online or printed out and sent in by mail. The survey is available in English, Arabic, French, Russian, and Nepali. Participation is voluntary. All of the information you provide is completely confidential. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. We use the term “LGBTI” throughout the survey, which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and any other gender nonconforming people. You can choose to skip a question or not answer a question if you wish.
Thank you for taking the time to take this survey. If you have questions, please contact

Online Survey Print Survey
LGBTI Online Survey – Arabic LGBTI Print Survey – Arabic
LGBTI Online Survey – English LGBTI Print Survey – English
LGBTI Online Survey – French LGBTI Print Survey – French
LGBTI Online Survey – Nepali LGBTI Survey Print – Nepali
LGBTI Online Survey – Russian LGBTI Print Survey – Russian


If you chose to download and print the survey, please send by mail to:
c/o LGBTI Survey
1800 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Suite 500Washington, DC 20036

American Red Cross Honors Everyday Hero Biar Atem

The American Red Cross held its annual Everyday Hero Awards ceremony honoring local heroes for their service to the community.  The Venetian and The Palazzo’s Biar Atem was honored with the award for Community Impact through his efforts with The South Sudan Center of America, which he founded as a resource for South Sudanese people in Nevada.

Read more about the award here:

Basma’s Story: Why We Should Welcome Refugees

Refugee Congress delegate Basma shares her story in hopes it helps people understand why we should welcome refugees.

Read the full piece here: Basma’s Story: Why We Should Welcome Refugees

Omar Speaks at a Rally

Omar reported that one hour after the rally, the Governor made a public statement to reaffirm her commitment to receive Syrian refugees. We will keep the public education and engagement going. Here is the video.

Omar also organized a community forum. Here are some pictures.

Biar Atem is featured in the Las Vegas Journal-Review

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada assists many refugees in the area with their transition to the United States, such as through helping refugees find jobs and housing. One of the beneficiaries of such programs, our delegate Biar, came to the United States in 2001 and represents the eagerness of refugees to succeed and assimilate after being resettled. His story was featured in the journal because he represents the work ethic and hope that resettled refugees carry. Read the full story here:

‘Lost Boy’ in Las Vegas, other refugees find help comes early but doesn’t last forever

Selena Sujoldzic Participated in Call with White House

Ms. Sujoldzic participated in a telephone conference call with the senior Administration officials from the White House, State Department, and FBI regarding the Syrian refugee resettlement crisis. The purpose of the call was to discuss what the Administration is planning to do about growing opposition to resettlement of Syrian refugees. Call participants discussed the refugee vetting process here in the United States and how it differs from the European countries.

Starting in 2016, she will be a member of the Board of Directors for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in Baltimore/DC.

Ekhlas Ahmed expresses the importance of education for refugee women and girls

At the Northeast Refugee Congress, Ekhlas was amongst several delegates to advocate for refugee rights and empowerment. More than 100 people attended the conference, which focused on tackling the challenges that refugees face after being resettled, such as health care and education. Read more about the conference here.

Jihan Daman Mobilizes Faith Community in Michigan

Jihan has been working tirelessly with various faith communities in Michigan to bring the voices of faith leaders to elected officials. She is working with the Lutheran Church Assistant Bishop and other Chaldean community leaders along with our Bishop to arrange a meeting with representatives of the Michigan Governor’s office.

Resettled Liberian Civil War refugee shares experiences at Missoula forum

Wilmot shared his experiences as a resettled refugee at a city forum, hosted by the city club and attended by the Missoula residents. Soft Landings Missoula hopes to open another resettlement agency with assistance of the International Rescue Committee, and speakers like Wilmot help raise awareness of the importance of this effort. There are mixed opinions in Missoula about resettlement, but Wilmot’s stories helped demonstrate the importance of resettlement and the necessity of sponsoring agencies. Read about the forum here:

Resettled Liberian Civil War refugee shares experiences at Missoula forum

Biar Atem Speaks with Students, Congregations, Policymakers and the Media

Delegate Biar Atem been busy the past few months! In January, he was interviewed by students from Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas, who did a video story about him for the U.S. for C-Span Student Contest. Biar spoke to the congregation at Unity Church Las Vegas. He also shared his story and, along with Carisa Ramirez-Lopez, Catholic Charities VP of Immigration and Refugee Services, spoke about refugees and the resettlement program in Nevada with the North Valley Democratic Club.

In December, Biar shared his story with the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security, to an audience of over 50 people on December 2. Biar inspired the audience with story and Carisa Ramirez-Lopez, Catholic Charities VP of Immigration and Refugee Services, provided an overview of the resettlement process. With Biar and Carisa’s presentations, Commission members were educated about the thorough process by which refugees are vetted and expressed support for the refugee program. See the picture of Biar with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval!

Biar has been interviewed twice by the Las Vegas Review Journal to share his story and discuss benefits refugees receive they come to the U.S. here

Biar Atem was also featured in an article in Communities In Schools: Canyon Springs hosted inspirational speaker Biar Atem, a Sudanese refugee and former Lost Boy, who now is the assistant manager of in-suite dining at the Venetian/Palazzo. Students and faculty were able to hear his incredible story of how he came to America, earned his high school, bachelor’s and MBA degrees and started a nonprofit to help other Sudanese refugees like himself. Read the article here

Biar was also interviewed by a radio program.

He also shared the following articles: Fortune Magazine, David Magazine, Las Vegas Review Journal and Style Magazine