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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Delegate George Tarr (NY) Presents Refugee Experience to Students at PS. 171 and Info Tech High School in Long Island City

Delegate George Tarr (NY) Presents Refugee Experience to Students at PS. 171 and Info Tech High School in Long Island City

Delegate George Tarr (NY) and mentor Renee Silverman did a Q&A at PS. 171 and Info Tech High School in Long Island City. George also led a screening of the film “Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes on the World.”

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Delegate Clara Hart (SD) Addresses New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony in Sioux Falls, SD

Delegate Clara Hart (SD) Addresses New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony in Sioux Falls, SD

At the end of February, Delegate Clara Hart addressed a Naturalization ceremony in Sioux Falls, as she has done for many years. The new citizens represented 20 countries of origin.

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Delegate Basma Alawee (FL), a member of the Youth and Education Caucus, leads her students to learn about the experience of being a refugee

Delegate Basma Alawee (FL), a member of the Youth and Education Caucus, leads her students to learn about the experience of being a refugee

Delegate Basma Alawee(FL), a member of the Youth and Education Caucus, organized a variety of opportunities for her students to learn about the experience of being a refugee, including supporting students to stage a play, Crossing the Border, that explored issues of diversity, culture, respect for peoples, courage, and compassion.

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Delegate Puspa Luitel (VT) was elected to serve as At-Large Director of the Vermont Law School Alumni Association

Delegate Puspa Luitel (VT) was elected to serve as At-Large Director of the Vermont Law School Alumni Association

Delegate Puspa Luitel (VT) was elected to serve as At-Large Director of the Vermont Law School Alumni Association for a 3-year term.

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Dauda Sesay, Louisiana Delegate, holds the Louisiana Refugee Advisory Council (RAC) quarterly meeting

Dauda Sesay, Louisiana Delegate, holds the Louisiana Refugee Advisory Council (RAC) quarterly meeting

Dauda Sesay, Louisiana Delegate, holds the Louisiana Refugee Advisory Council (RAC) quarterly meeting.

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Clara Hart, South Dakota Delegate, Announces run for City Council

Clara Hart, South Dakota Delegate, Announces run for City Council

Refugee Congress South Dakota Delegate, Clara Hart, announces her run for City Council. Read more here.

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Fatima Dirie, Utah delegate, featured for her work on Welcoming Week

Fatima Dirie, Utah delegate, featured for her work on Welcoming Week

Utah delegate Fatima Dirie, was featured in the Salt Lake Tribune for her work on Welcoming Week for refugees in Salt Lake City. Read more here.

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