City of Residence: Acworth, Georgia
Country of origin: Gambia
Arrival in the U.S.: 2008
Mr. Sheriff Samsudeen Phatey came to the United States from the Gambia by himself in 2008 at the age of 18. Mr. Phatey was born into a political family in the Gambia, and at an early age he hosted a radio program where he talked about children’s rights and ethical issues, and appeared on live television to report to the government about human rights matters. The corruption, human rights violations, and lack of freedom of speech in the Gambia compelled him to speak up for his rights, and he eventually faced persecution by the government due to his activism. Mr. Phatey currently lives in Acworth, Georgia, where he manages a nonprofit organization he founded called Hearts to the Future International, which helps to address refugee, human rights, and humanitarian issues. He is also the President and CEO of SMBC Network. Mr. Phatey has received professional degrees and training in conflict analysis, interfaith conflict resolution, negotiation and conflict management from the United States Institute of Peace. He was also honored by the Congressional Youth leadership Council as a high achiever and distinguished scholar. Mr. Phatey is most proud of contributing to his community by establishing a new agency which provides employment for journalists in exile.
The Sheriff, the U.S. means: Empowering and developing myself to be well prepared to help nations affected by conflict the enjoy peace and freedom as I have experienced in America.