Missouri: Julia Ostropolsky

Missouri: Julia Ostropolsky

State: Missouri
City of Residence: St. Louis
Country of origin: Soviet Union
Arrival in the U.S.:
JULIA OSTROPOLSKY, MSW, LCSW arrived in the U.S. with her parents as a stateless refugee near the end of the Soviet era. Growing up, she witnessed the struggles of her family and the Russian-speaking community to adapt to and understand their new lives in America. After graduating from the University of Toledo and receiving her Masters in Social Work from Washington University, Julia began working with the Russian-Jewish community in St. Louis County. Julia identified …

Read More »

Honorary Delegate Mohy Omer (DC) was appointed as a board member of the Refugee Center Online.

Honorary Delegate Mohy Omer (DC) was appointed as a board member of the Refugee Center Online.

Mohy was previously Delegate for the District of Columbia, now he promotes peace worldwide and is setting a vision for Refugee Center Online.

Read More »

Delegate George Tarr (NY) presented his journey in film at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Delegate George Tarr (NY) presented his journey in film at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

The presentation was well-attended and informed participants about the challenges that refugees face.

Read More »

Delegate Suraj Budathoki (NH), Building Community of New Hampshire (BCNH), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), Overcomers Support Services, Rohingya Society of Greater Nashua and local leaders sponsored and organized the New American Leadership Academy.

Delegate Suraj Budathoki (NH), Building Community of New Hampshire (BCNH), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), Overcomers Support Services, Rohingya Society of Greater Nashua and local leaders sponsored and organized the New American Leadership Academy.

This academy focused on creating more opportunities for migrant and refugee alums and New American leaders by enhancing their leadership skills through experience. Delegate Wilmot Collins (MT) was the keynote speaker of the event. Delegate Omar Bah (RI), thanked the organizing committee, “Under the limited LIRS funding, this cohort has made a significant progress in developing our grassroots efforts in the surrounding areas. These leaders will make significant impact through their projects activities in the lives of others and bring positive change in their communities,” said Omar.

Read More »

Delegate Beni De Dieu Luzau (MD) attended a conference organized by the Canadian Council for Refugees & the Center for Refugee Studies of York University in Toronto, Ontario.

Delegate Beni De Dieu Luzau (MD) attended a conference organized by the Canadian Council for Refugees & the Center for Refugee Studies of York University in Toronto, Ontario.

Over 800 participants from all over the world came together for networking, advocating, and strengthening NGOs. Topics discussed ranged from welcome & integration to rights & status, global protection, durable solutions, immigration & detention, the Rohingya crisis, current situation of refugees in Israel, refugee women, use of technology to promote refugee protection & integration, mental health & detention, and issues facing LGBTQI refugees.

Read More »

Delegate Dauda Sesay (LA) and the Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants celebrated World Refugee Day in Baton Rouge, LA

Delegate Dauda Sesay (LA) and the Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants celebrated World Refugee Day in Baton Rouge, LA

Delegate Kamal Dhimal (NC) joins with Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency to organize World Refugee Day event in Charlotte, NC.

Delegate Kamal Dhimal (NC) joins with Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency to organize World Refugee Day event in Charlotte, NC.

Refugee Congress Delegate Kamal Dhimal (NC) was pleased to partner with Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency for a World Refugee Dinner held at the Simmons YMCA on June 14. Elected officials from the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Commissioners Office enjoyed a dinner provided by refugee- owned business King of Spicy and heard stories from former refugees about their experiences and accomplishments since arriving in Charlotte.

Read More »

New Hampshire: Suraj Budathoki

New Hampshire: Suraj Budathoki

State: New Hampshire

City of Residence: Manchester, New Hampshire

Country of origin: Bhutan

Arrival in the U.S.: 2009

Suraj Budathoki is the Interim Executive Director in the Building Community in New Hampshire, BCNH, formerly Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire. Mr. Budathoki who has a broad understanding of Refugees, Immigrants, and New Americans in New Hampshire and beyond is a founding member of BCNH and a contributor at BCNH since the inception of the corporation.

Prior to pursuing BCNH executive leadership, Mr. Budathoki coordinated marketplace Navigation and New American Youth Engagement Project …

Read More »

Louisiana:: Dauda Sesay 

Louisiana:: Dauda Sesay 

State:  Louisiana

City of Residence:  Baton Rouge

Country of Origin:  Sierra Leone

Arrival in the U.S.:  2009

Dauda fled Sierra Leone due to the brutal war that led to the murder of his father and younger sister. While he was fleeing the military and the rebels, he was shot and seriously injured.  In the refugee camp in the Gambia, he worked with other refugees to advocate for better living conditions in the camp and education for the children. When his injury required further surgery, he moved to the capital, …

Read More »

Utah:: Fatima Dirie

Utah:: Fatima Dirie

State: Utah

City of Residence: Salt Lake City

Country of origin: Somalia

Arrival in the US: 1997

Fatima Dirie is the Refugee Community Liasion for the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office. Fatima was born in Somalia, and lived in Kenya for several years before coming to the United States. She moved to Utah with her family in 1997 and has lived here since. Fatima Speaks 5 Languages. Somali, Mai, Mai, Chimini, Swahili, and English. Fatima graduated from the University of Utah with a master’s degree in social work and …

Read More »

District of Columbia:: Jessi Calzado-Esponda

District of Columbia:: Jessi Calzado-Esponda

State: District of Columbia

City of Residence: Washington

Country of origin: Cuba

Arrival in the US: 1999

Jessi Calzado-Esponda has lived an extraordinary life. At the tender age of 7, and at no fault of her own, she became a political refugee after being placed in a raft that was headed to America. In the blink of an eye, Jessi lost all contact with her immediate family (mom, dad, brother) and her beloved Cuba; and yet despite many difficulties she rose! As a child, she lived in several shelter …

Read More »

Honorary Delegate Som Subedi Held a Demonstration Against the Travel Ban

Honorary Delegate Som Subedi Held a Demonstration Against the Travel Ban

Delegate Som Subedi (OR), along with twenty-six organizations, civil society, community and government held a demonstration against the first anniversary of President Trump’s rolling initiatives banning refugees and immigrants from a number of Muslim-majority nations. The demonstration took place on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at an officially permitted free-speech zone at Portland International Airport . Welcoming North westerners, including representatives of Oregon’s Congressional delegation honored traditional elders, civic activists, and business leaders of Portland communities. This was a demonstration of local compassion and solidarity with immigrant and refugeecommunities.

Read More »

Honorary Delegate Hadidja Nyiransekuye (TX) has been conducting formal outreach presentations at her university, University of North Texas.

Honorary Delegate Hadidja Nyiransekuye (TX) has been conducting formal outreach presentations at her university, University of North Texas.

Honorary Delegate Hadidja Nyiransekuye (TX) has been conducting formal outreach presentations at her university, University of North Texas. These presentations are opening Social Work and other students’ eyes to the experience of being a refugee.

Read More »

Delegate Biar Atem (NV) participated in the annual Business Leader and Principal for a Day event.

Delegate Biar Atem (NV) participated in the annual Business Leader and Principal for a Day event.

Delegate Biar Atem (NV) participated in the annual Business Leader and Principal for a Day event. The event included shadowing with a principal and allowed participants to have instant dialogue with other community leaders and the principal about the successes and challenges we face in public education.

Read More »

Delegate Dauda Sesay (LA) helped to organize protest at the Louisiana State University on the anniversary of the travel ban.

Delegate Dauda Sesay (LA) helped to organize protest at the Louisiana State University on the anniversary of the travel ban.

Delegate Dauda Sesay (LA) helped to organize a protest at the Louisiana State University on the anniversary of the travel ban. Protesters sought to raise awareness for the those hurt by the ban, as well as remind everyone that the ban is still in existence.

Read More »