Julia Ostropolsky

State: Missouri City of Residence: St. Louis Country of origin: Soviet Union Arrival in the U.S.: 1988 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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dauda Sesay 

State:  Louisiana Country of Origin:  Sierra Leone Arrival in the U.S.:  2009 Dauda Sesay is the Refugee Congress Delegate from Louisiana. Sesay 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 a refugee camp […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]