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Hello Neighbor Network Celebrates the Expansion of its Fellowship Program, Increasing Support to…

Monday, January 9, 2023
<h3><strong>Hello Neighbor Network Celebrates the Expansion of its Fellowship Program, Increasing Support to Grassroots Organizations that serve Refugees and Immigrants Nationwide</strong></h3><p><em>In 2023, 23 community nonprofit leaders will join the Hello Neighbor Network</em></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*D50m5fpGH3FydDqt3r3ljg.png" /><figcaption>Network 2023 affiliate locations</figcaption></figure><p>The Hello Neighbor Network, powered by Hello Neighbor, has increased its financial and resource-sharing support to U.S.-based nonprofits serving refugees and immigrants. The Hello Neighbor Network works with community-based nonprofits with operating budgets under $1,000,000, helping them via leadership development, peer support, education, and funding.</p><p>Today, the Hello Neighbor Network is proud to announce the addition of 23 leaders to its 2023 Fellowship program.</p><blockquote>“The Hello Neighbor Network continues to grow because of the incredible need across the United States to support and welcome refugees and immigrants into our communities. We see first-hand how grassroots nonprofit leaders can thrive when they have the funding, mentorship and support they need to succeed in their local communities and we are proud to have created this meaningful program and funding opportunities to support them. Together, we know we can create the change we need to have more welcoming and inclusive communities across the country.”</blockquote><blockquote>— Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO</blockquote><p>Powered by <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/">Hello Neighbor</a>, based in Pittsburgh, PA, the Hello Neighbor Network’s Fellowship program currently supports 63 grassroots nonprofits across 26 states serving the needs of their respective communities throughout the country. The program supports nonprofits during the early years which are known to be the most challenging time of their development, during which 30–50% of small businesses and nonprofits fail.</p><p>The Hello Neighbor Network Fellowship supports leaders in their environments, through peer support and interpersonal connections, education and know-how, and funding opportunities via the Resilience Grant program. By growing the Fellowship, Hello Neighbor expands community and connection between grassroots leaders throughout the U.S., all of whom make their communities more welcoming and inclusive to immigrants and refugees. The Fellowship will provide leaders with meaningful community and connection, and with relevant, built-in opportunities to strengthen their organizations.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*sI6w2HhdQg8hZwaoIdiY7g.png" /><figcaption>Robert Gonzalez at Hello Neighbor Network Convening</figcaption></figure><blockquote>“My participation in the Hello Neighbor Network in 2022 has given me a unique opportunity in many ways. Firstly, I <strong>gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in a short period of time on how good-hearted people nationwide strive to serve immigrant communities</strong>. I realized that there are focused services to be provided by a small group of volunteers and a broader range of services rendered by part-time and full-time employees of immigrant-serving NGOs. Secondly, on a personal level, I experienced a resurgence of the belief that there are more good people doing good than bad actors who cause pain and stress to vulnerable people, especially in immigrant communities. Thirdly, as one of their biggest fans, <strong>I highly recommend Hello Neighbor Network to anyone interested in raising their level of service efficiency and effectiveness</strong>.”</blockquote><blockquote>– Robert Gonzalez (California Immigrants Resources Center), 2022 Network Fellow</blockquote><p>The evacuation of Afghanistan last year and ongoing conflict in Ukraine has required an increased capacity to help resettle and offer post-resettlement support to refugee and immigrant families. There are currently 82.4 million forcibly displaced people around the world. Many refugees arrive at their destinations without the language and cultural knowledge to navigate a new place. There are hundreds of community members, community-based groups, and early-stage nonprofits who have the passion and approach to do the work of welcoming new neighbors to the U.S. and are eager to get started.</p><p>The Hello Neighbor Network is able to grow with the support of local and national funders that include the Walmart Foundation and USA for UNHCR. In 2021, Hello Neighbor was featured in President George Bush’s book, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants. Over the past year, The Hello Neighbor Network has raised a total of $750,000.</p><p>In 2023, the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a> will welcome 23 Hello Neighbor Network Fellows from 13 states across the U.S.:</p><ul><li>Ashley Marine, GirlForward (Chicago, IL)</li><li>Brian Leone Tracy, Fox Valley Literacy (Appleton, WI)</li><li>Catarina Lorenzo Antonio, Alliance of Mobilize Our Resistance (AMOR) (Providence, RI)</li><li>Diana Higuera, Rocky Mountain Welcome Center (Aurora, CO)</li><li>Diya Abdo, Every Campus a Refuge (Greensboro, NC)</li><li>Erin Freeman, Project Hope 4 Kids (Salt Lake City, UT)</li><li>Jeremy Ellison, Riverview International Center (Columbus, OH)</li><li>Jill Segulin, Refugee Assistance Partners NJ (Scotch Plains, NJ)</li><li>Julie Ramos Lagos, Bismarck Global Neighbors (Bismarck, ND)</li><li>Krystsina Shchelkunova, Slavic Refugee and Immigrant Services Organization (La Jolla, CA)</li><li>Laura Youngberg, Middle Eastern Immigrant and Refugee Alliance (Chicago, IL)</li><li>Luna Banuri, Utah Muslim Civic League (Salt Lake City, UT)</li><li>Melissa Phillips, San Diego Refugee Tutoring (San Diego, CA)</li><li>Michelle Lasnier, R Bazaar &amp; Ruby’s Market (Denver, CO)</li><li>Naseema Gilson, Sanctuary Kitchen by CitySeed (New Haven, CT)</li><li>Pam Font-Gabel, Refugee Women Rising (Omaha, NE)</li><li>Raghad Bushnaq, Mozaic (Adie, VA)</li><li>Said Hassan, Community Services Agency Inc (Green Bay, WI)</li><li>Sedique Popal, Noor Islamic and Cultural Community Center (Concord, CA)</li><li>Sheila Badwan, Hanan Refugees Relief Group (Milwaukee, WI)</li><li>Taneeza Islam, South Dakota Voices for Peace (Sioux Falls, SD)</li><li>Vickee Moy, Starting Point for Refugee Children (Elk Grove, CA)</li><li>Waheed Ahmad Haidari, Afghan Community Culture Center (El Cajon, CA)</li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/1*MfYPzASZMgUBlpo1Yp_slA.png" /></figure><p><strong>About the </strong><a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/"><strong>Hello Neighbor Network</strong></a><strong>:</strong></p><p>Powered by Hello Neighbor, the Network is a coalition of grassroots organizations working in refugee and immigrant resettlement in the U.S. The Hello Neighbor Network is supported by generous partnerships with the Walmart Foundation, the Schultz Family Foundation, USA for UNHCR, The Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, The Benter Foundation, The Good People Fund, The Harnisch Foundation, and the Starbucks Foundation to provide education, peer-connection, and funding to early-stage nonprofits and elevate grassroots voices in ongoing conversations about refugee and immigrant inclusion in the U.S.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=e1368ed20116" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/hello-neighbor-network-celebrates-the-expansion-of-its-fellowship-program-increasing-support-to-e1368ed20116">Hello Neighbor Network Celebrates the Expansion of its Fellowship Program, Increasing Support to…</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Finding Refuge in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tuesday, December 6, 2022
<figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*opC0kctof5P2xqrJAO-zXQ.jpeg" /><figcaption>Every Campus a Refuge community Gathering: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=416923450585875&amp;set=a.313326187612269">https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=416923450585875&amp;set=a.313326187612269</a></figcaption></figure><p>A couple of weeks ago, the Hello Neighbor Network team traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina to visit Learning Collaborative member, <a href="http://everycampusarefuge.net">Every Campus a Refuge</a>. I was lucky to travel with our National Membership Coordinator, Dustin Butoryak, to meet with <a href="http://everycampusarefuge.net/dr-diya-abdo/">Dr. Diya Abdo</a>, Founder and Executive Director, and her team.</p><p>Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR) started with <a href="http://everycampusarefuge.net/about/every-campus-a-refuge-origins/">some important questions posed by Diya</a>:</p><blockquote>“…what do <em>academic</em> institutions do with broken hearts? With the dead and dying bodies? With the endless convoy of humanity trying to make its way from misery to the unknown? What is our responsibility as teachers, students, and administrators of higher learning? What is our complicity as institutions built on the lands of the dispossessed and displaced?”</blockquote><p>Since 2015, ECAR has mobilized colleges and universities across the U.S. to host refugees on campus grounds and support them in their resettlement. They are working to transform the landscape of refugee resettlement and higher education by creating thousands of sustainable resettlement campus ecosystems from their homebase on Guilford College’s campus in Greensboro, North Carolina.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/540/1*3_M0781yb_rwJo42CTfCdQ.jpeg" /><figcaption>David Richmond (from left), Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., and Joseph McNeil leave the Woolworth in Greensboro, N.C., where they initiated a lunch-counter sit-in to protest segregation, Feb. 1, 1960. (No photographers were allowed into the store on the first day of protest.) Photo: <em>Jack Moebes/Corbis</em>.</figcaption></figure><p>The land on which they operate has a long history of radical inclusion and welcoming in the face of oppression. Greensboro, North Carolina was a <a href="https://www.npr.org/2008/02/01/18615556/the-woolworth-sit-in-that-launched-a-movement">center of civil disobedience during the Civil Rights Movement</a> and the <a href="https://library.guilford.edu/undergroundrr">New Garden Woods on Guildford College’s campus was a stop on the Underground Railroad</a>, a refuge for enslaved people seeking freedom. The Quaker history of the institution has a legacy of abolitionism, of re-opening its doors for those in need of refuge even in a broader society that closes them.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*PEDtAVomJ1uhpzBQUQRtMw.png" /><figcaption>Dustin Butoryak, National Membership Coordinator on a tour of Underground Railroad trail at Guilford College.</figcaption></figure><p>During the Network visit, we had the opportunity to visit the <a href="https://www.sitinmovement.org">International Civil Rights Museum</a> where the original Woolworth Counter is preserved along with the history of racism and violence in the U.S. and the brave communities that fought for equality. We also got a tour, led by <a href="https://www.afsc.org/content/max-carter">Max Carter</a>, of the <a href="https://library.guilford.edu/undergroundrr">New Garden Woods</a> “on the land of Saura and Keyawee peoples, settled by European American Friends (Quakers) in the 1700s.”</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*vpAVvV1Upq55p-sFC69K7g.png" /><figcaption>Tulip poplar on in the New Garden Woods.</figcaption></figure><p>Along the path we sat under a tulip poplar tree that has stood and grown as a witness to the history of refuge in the woods, not far from the homes where ECAR has hosted refugee families on their campus in recent years. Their work has branched out beyond the limits of the tree-lined paths into other towns and cities across the U.S. at other academic institutions who want to be a part of welcoming.</p><p>We had the opportunity to meet with ECAR volunteers, families, and staff as well as Guilford College students, faculty, staff, and the President of the University, Dr. Kyle Farmbry, who are all committed to welcoming our newest neighbors. And to visit with one of ECAR’s community partners, <a href="https://reconsideredgoods.org">Reconsidered Goods</a>, a nonprofit creative reuse center that supports housing set up for newly arrived families.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*7OIY5j32_ONtS9O13q5nuA.png" /><figcaption>Reconsidered Goods</figcaption></figure><p>Every site visit feels just a little like walking in the door at Hello Neighbor. Each looks different and does something a little different with the same core goal of building a more welcoming community. Meeting teams like Diya, Walid, and Kathleen at ECAR is like being with our own Hello Neighbor team in Pittsburgh. We learn so much from one another and it’s a balm to know there are so many grassroots organizations working towards creating a more inclusive and welcoming country.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*Vr0Pc5TS0euN467dCSHIRw.jpeg" /><figcaption>Dustin Butoryak (National Membership Coordinator, Network), Walid Mosarsaa (Senior Program Coordinator, ECAR), Kathleen Herbst (Program Coordinator, ECAR), Rachel Vinciguerra (Director of National Programs, Network)</figcaption></figure><p>This is the third of three site visits made possible by our partners at The Starbucks Foundation as the Network completes a storytelling project to be announced in 2023. You can read more about our visits to <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/network-site-visits-in-the-beautiful-state-of-nebraska-f57308fe51f9">Lincoln &amp; Omaha, Nebraska</a>, and <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/the-network-visits-seattle-washington-be256054ad62">Seattle, Washington</a>.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*tVVLAFfnAchvqODK.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know the latest from the Network.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=7bd17b95e54" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/finding-refuge-in-greensboro-north-carolina-7bd17b95e54">Finding Refuge in Greensboro, North Carolina</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

That’s a Wrap! The Network Celebrates its 2022 Fellowship and 2022 Learning Collaborative

Tuesday, December 6, 2022
<h3>A Time of Reflection and Celebration</h3><p>As we come off the Thanksgiving holiday and near the end of the year, we want to take a moment for intentional gratitude and reflection. This year, the Network was blessed by 20 Fellows and 60 Learning Collaborative Leaders. To celebrate these groups and the phenomenal organizations they represent, we held two End-of-Year events in October:</p><ul><li>The ‘Learning Collaborative Share-Out’ on October 13th</li><li>The ‘2022 Network Fellowship End of Year Celebration’ on October 21st</li></ul><p>We are immensely grateful to the nonprofit leaders who devoted their time, expertise, and engagement to these programs, and are glad many will stay on as Network Members in the months to come!</p><p>Thank you as well to Tahereh Hooshangi for performing original poetry at both events, and to <a href="https://helloneighbor.us14.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bf57b31f98292f5d388a5f656&amp;id=52d7750395&amp;e=0429236513">Zondo</a> for performing original music at the Fellowship event.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*1XmC5eVgCzERYAuL" /><figcaption>Attendees celebrate at the Learning Collaborative Share-Out.</figcaption></figure><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*yJxOatoPnFkSQZsq" /><figcaption>Attendees celebrate at the Network Share-Out and Celebration.</figcaption></figure><h3>Learning Collaborative Impact</h3><p>We are astounded by the dedication and impact of our Learning Collaborative Leaders. Using monthly reports and an end-of-the-year survey, we the captured their collective impact in series of data visualizations (summarized below). We’ll be sharing a similar summary of the 2022 Fellowship in the weeks to come — keep your eyes peeled!</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*i9jv-QWgJRJ8MGH2HPg2UQ.png" /></figure><h3>Network Fellowship Independent Projects</h3><p>Our Network Fellows embarked on some truly remarkable independent projects this year! Selected and defined by each participating Fellow, the ‘independent project’ serves as an opportunity to expand programming and/or capacity, practice new skills, and receive feedback and support from a community of peers and nonprofit experts. Continue reading to learn about some of this year’s projects!</p><h4><a href="https://circenter.org/"><strong>California Immigrants Resources Center</strong></a><strong> (Sacramento, CA) developed a welcome guide and mentorship handbook.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*BuJJkltUJhQlGKItwOg55A.png" /><figcaption>CIRC’s brand new Mentorship Guide.</figcaption></figure><h4><a href="https://echocollectivene.org/"><strong>ECHO Collective</strong></a><strong> (Lincoln, NE) expanded and formalized their volunteer program.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*Vke-UQY6uO8MJR5m4SJDTQ.jpeg" /><figcaption>ECHO Collective volunteers connecting through service.</figcaption></figure><h4><a href="https://www.karenksn.org"><strong>Karen Society of Nebraska</strong></a><strong> (Lincoln, NE) updated their website, social media profiles, and external communication materials.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*f8Q2RmRL2sSViXjL7TqTrg.png" /></figure><h4><a href="https://openfieldintl.org/"><strong>Open Field</strong></a><strong> (Pittsburgh, PA) started a community college soccer team, supporting and encouraging student athletes as they pursue associate’s degrees.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*KEMkeu66rOqLW4Gkb7D6gg.png" /><figcaption>Open Field athletes proudly representing the Community College of Allegheny County.</figcaption></figure><h4><a href="https://ocjcr.org/"><strong>Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees</strong></a><strong> (Santa Ana, CA) used metrics to measure impact and track goals.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*Ea0ZDZB9JDeKvVaIbF27eA.png" /><figcaption>A summary of milestones at Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees.</figcaption></figure><h4><a href="https://www.newneighborspartnership.org/"><strong>New Neighbors Partnership</strong></a><strong> (New York, NY) developed a 3-year Strategic Plan.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*lSSfLGYhYZd55E12NJVPhQ.png" /><figcaption>Goals from New Neighbors Partnership’s strategic plan.</figcaption></figure><h4><a href="https://ruthsrefuge.org"><strong>Ruth’s Refuge</strong></a><strong> (Brooklyn, NY) created its first Impact Report.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*U196hKomckwf79UT3pj4yw.png" /><figcaption>A summary of impact at Ruth’s Refuge.</figcaption></figure><h4><a href="https://treetopscollective.org/"><strong>Treetops Collective</strong></a><strong> (Grand Rapids, MI) built curricula for ‘Concentric,’ a program that empowers women and girls to work towards social and economic success.</strong></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/960/1*X6QJE311ToDGOwqxnYcJyQ.jpeg" /><figcaption>Booklets for Treetops Collective’s ‘Teen Concentric Program.’</figcaption></figure><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/proxy/0*pKnxYcg08hvu_bzM.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=fda9a65ba5d8" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/thats-a-wrap-the-network-celebrates-its-2022-fellowship-and-2022-learning-collaborative-fda9a65ba5d8">That’s a Wrap! The Network Celebrates its 2022 Fellowship and 2022 Learning Collaborative</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

The Nonprofit Love Language and why you shouldn’t JUST donate on GivingTuesday

Tuesday, November 29, 2022
<figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*UzSHXnxoMA5f903nvkD8Xg.png" /></figure><h3>Anyone in nonprofits knows the story.</h3><p>We take Thanksgiving, the frezied spending of the holiday season through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday and leverage it in our communities and nonprofits on GivingTuesday.</p><p>The burgeoning idea for GivingTuesday took shape in 2011 <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cyber-monday-charity_b_1115516">in an article</a> authored by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia and the next year it was <a href="https://www.foundationlist.org/news/givingtuesday-about-to-start/">branded and founded as a nonprofit</a> in its own right by 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation.</p><p>Today, the Giving Tuesday organization focuses on <strong>radical generosity</strong> — the idea that other’s suffering should be as intolerable as our own. And it has expanded and complicated its thinking in some important ways like:</p><ul><li>valuing non-financial ways to give in addition to financial</li><li>expanding thinking about the giving ecosystem beyond just nonprofits</li><li>considering advocacy and volunteerism</li></ul><p><a href="https://www.givingtuesday.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/GT_2021LookBack_Report-FINAL.pdf">Giving Tuesday’s 2021 Report</a> emphasizes that only 10% of giving in that year was to nonprofit organizations. That’s important and helps paint the full picture of what giving actually looks like for people in the U.S. because it’s not limited to people with financial means and it’s not only to nonprofits. We give every day in time, talents, and even financial gifts outside of the nonprofit system to friends and family.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*zYYn4spq2Veus2LzQxEh6w.jpeg" /><figcaption>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@swastikarora?utm_source=medium&amp;utm_medium=referral">Swastik Arora</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com?utm_source=medium&amp;utm_medium=referral">Unsplash</a></figcaption></figure><h3>But let’s dive into the 10% of giving to nonprofits for a minute and what the end of the year looks like for these organizations.</h3><p>It’s an exciting day to work at a nonprofit — the office is buzzing at <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/together-we-go-far">Hello Neighbor on GivingTuesday</a> as we see the energy and generosity of our community online that kicks off an end-of-year movement.</p><p>This time of year is crucial for organizations like ours. <a href="https://neonone.com/resources/individual-giving-trends-report/"><strong>Nonprofits get one-fifth of all their donations for the year in December</strong></a><strong>.</strong> So that means, in the last month of the year, most nonprofits have to raise the remaining 20% of their revenue to do their work.</p><p>That’s a lot.</p><p><strong>Imagine waiting for December to get such a large portion the income you need to pay for necessities for that same year.</strong></p><p>The 2021 Giving Tuesday report also shares that “small nonprofit organizations have stopped reporting fundraising data at a higher rate than ever before, indicating tool attrition and perhaps insolvency.” That well may be, we know that <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/starting-a-business/the-true-failure-rate-of-small-businesses/361350"><strong>50% of small businesses fail within the first five years</strong></a>. As someone who works with <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io">around 100 nonprofits across the country every day</a>, I would guess this reduced reporting also has to do with capacity limitations.</p><p>These are organizations working with a couple paid staff, maybe none, and often without dedicated development or fundraising professionals.</p><p>So here’s my pitch this year: Giving Tuesday is more than a day.</p><p>It’s a day with a hell of a lot of energy and generosity, but instead of giving a one-time donation, hear me out, become a monthly donor.</p><h3>In my opinion, monthly giving is a love language for nonprofits.</h3><p>It can be as little as $10/month and it might not be monetary at all. It’s also a great benefit to nonprofits to have regular volunteers we can count on week after week. But monthly donors keep the lights on, they keep programs running, they allow nonprofits to budget with more information about their revenue for the full year.</p><p>It’s like getting your income at regular intervals one or twice a month (like most of us do who work full-time!) rather than all at the end.</p><p>Here’s what’s promising for me — we already see monthly donations going up. From 2020 to 2021, <a href="https://neonone.com/resources/blog/year-end-giving-statistics/">monthly giving to nonprofits increased 24%</a>. So why not keep it going this year? And why not start on GivingTuesday?</p><h4>Now what?</h4><p>Here’s a short list of ways to become a sustaining supporter.</p><ol><li>Sign-up as a monthly donor at your favorite nonprofit(s). Even $5/month can make a difference and most organizations have an option on their website for secure, automatic withdrawals.</li><li>Sign-up as a regular volunteer. This could be just a few hours a month depending on the needs of the organization and show your local nonprofit they can count on you!</li><li>Consider what other sustaining ways you can support nonprofit work — maybe board service or advocacy are in your future?!</li></ol><h4>Not sure where to give this year?</h4><ul><li>If you’ve given before, keep an eye on your inbox this GivingTuesday!</li><li>Check out <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/support-refugees-and-immigrants-this-giving-tuesday-4a7c999a5dec?source=collection_home---6------0-----------------------">how to support refugees and immigrants this year</a> and <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/together-we-go-far">Hello Neighbor’s GivingTuesday campaign</a></li><li>Follow along on <a href="https://www.instagram.com/givingtuesday/">GivingTuesday social media</a> for ideas (not just financial!)</li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*W4tiaGRLQuLt89Ij.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>, powered by <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io">Hello Neighbor</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=c7b535b1391d" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/the-nonprofit-love-language-and-why-you-shouldnt-just-donate-on-givingtuesday-c7b535b1391d">The Nonprofit Love Language and why you shouldn’t JUST donate on GivingTuesday</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Support Refugees and Immigrants this Giving Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022
<p>A follow-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, <a href="https://www.givingtuesday.org/"><em>Giving Tuesday</em></a> empowers us to donate to our favorite nonprofit organizations. Refugee- and immigrant-serving nonprofits rely on Giving Tuesday to meet community needs and create meaningful change.</p><p>Not sure where to donate or want to learn about other organizations?</p><p>Below you’ll find a list of Giving Tuesday campaigns, each associated with a change-making organization in the US. <strong>Make a difference by donating for this year’s Giving Tuesday (November 29th)!</strong> No matter the size of your gift, your generosity will have an impact.</p><h4><a href="https://www.breakbreadbreakborders.com">Break Bread Break Borders</a> (Dallas, TX)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> “<em>Break Bread, Break Borders is developing a culinary training program to empower refugee women from war-torn countries to find catering job opportunities by sharing their food, culture, and storytelling. We break bread with the communities, and break down borders at the same time.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“Please help BBBB educate and train more refugee women in commercial kitchens for food service job skills, so we may send them on to bigger and better opportunities.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.breakbreadbreakborders.com/education-and-outreach"><em>https://www.breakbreadbreakborders.com/education-and-outreach</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*7zFGtnTg-9l6kqZTqEQKlw.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.cornercounseling.com/">Cornerstone Marriage &amp; Family Intervention</a> (Princeton, NJ)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“To improve the lives of those struggling with relational and identity difficulties by implementing faith-based intervention strategies rooted in communication techniques.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“We are raising funds for meal initiatives and wellness workshops for our clients throughout the winter months.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.cornercounseling.com/donate.html"><em>https://www.cornercounseling.com/donate.html</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/240/1*C5JAEkE94cSv1osIEwdBFg.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.elmahabacenter.com/">Elmahaba Center</a> (Nashville, TN)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“To strengthen our communities, prioritizing the Arabic-speaking communities, through collective care, cultural awareness, and knowledge towards liberation and social justice.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign: </strong><em>“Elmahaba’s mutual aid efforts are a cornerstone of our support for our community members. We believe that no BIPOC will have the same wealth as a white person and therefore give without applications or policing according to our capacity. So far, in 2022, we have given out nearly $10,000 in monetary support to single working class moms to newcomers from Yemen and Sudan to support paying medical bills for elderly members. This Giving Tuesday, to stabilize our funds for 2023, we are requesting $5000 to support South Nashville.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/elmahabacenternashville"><em>https://www.facebook.com/elmahabacenternashville</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/828/1*C_lUU9XjvE3SIa98y12log.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.heartfelttidbits.com">Heartfelt Tidbits</a> (<strong>Cincinnati, OH)</strong></h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“To provide support to Southwest Ohio region refugees and recent immigrants by enhancing integration and self-sufficiency through our innovative educational, cultural and employment-enhancing programming.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“Heartfelt Tidbits will be seeking donations from current donors and new ones. The donations raised will be used to assist with ongoing housing needs and enrichment programs for K-8th grade.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give: </strong><a href="https://www.heartfelttidbits.com/donate-1"><em>https://www.heartfelttidbits.com/donate-1</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*Za_Ytl9IO5mEqvp16mFr-Q.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.heartsandhomesforrefugees.org">Hearts and Homes for Refugees</a> (<strong>Westchester County, NY)</strong></h4><ul><li><strong>Mission: </strong><em>“Hearts &amp; Homes for Refugees is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that works with the U.S. Department of State-designated agencies to welcome refugees. We inspire, educate and equip others to resettle, assist and advocate for refugees. Leading and growing a network of neighbors, community organizations, faith, student and civic groups, we are able to offer safe and inclusive communities to our refugee neighbors and empower them to rebuild their lives with hope and dignity.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“Hearts &amp; Homes for Refugees’ Giving Tuesday efforts will be focused on email and social media campaigns. Our work and programming will be highlighted throughout our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages (@HHRefugees), and our Giving Tuesday ask will focus on regular donations, as well as crypto donations. We will direct Giving Tuesday donations to support our efforts to welcome, resettle and assist new neighbors.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.heartsandhomesforrefugees.org/donate"><em>https://www.heartsandhomesforrefugees.org/donate</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*QePPWVXQ8NrEf97FFCwlCA.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.holalakeway.org/">HOLA Lakeway</a> (Morristown, TN)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> “<em>The mission of HOLA Lakeway is to facilitate the integration of immigrant families into the fabric of the Lakeway community through educational initiatives and advocacy.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“HOLA Lakeway is hoping to raise $10,000 that will support HOLA’s mission and goals. Increase the accessibility to higher education for immigrant families by providing workforce development, workshops, meetings, and conferences. Equipping individuals to master literacy and language skills needed to complete K-12 education while striving to decrease the achievement gap by providing HiSET, GED, Spanish and English classes. Increase trust between the immigrant community and cities in the Lakeway area by being a liaison between families and community resources, decreasing the gaps that exist, and building bridges. To increase community integration and understanding of different cultures through events that celebrate and highlight diversity while promoting unity.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.paypal.com/donate?token=xzJFhoTS5lRciCGnqmTEnS3QszZbNJHjYH2sAB2RsI-fa7efG8d1aDPaJXL0RGIebsEZ-5PWzTzsMxLo"><em>https://www.paypal.com/donate?token=xzJFhoTS5lRciCGnqmTEnS3QszZbNJHjYH2sAB2RsI-fa7efG8d1aDPaJXL0RGIebsEZ-5PWzTzsMxLo</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*CqUKjamsTiqEpiylD0GbzA.png" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.lltaustin.org/">Ladies Let’s Talk </a>(Austin, TX)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“LLT helps refugee and immigrant women achieve belonging in their new community. We connect them with women volunteers for: language practice; navigating daily life; and friendship and sisterhood.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“Ladies Let’s Talk is launching our Sponsor a Student campaign on Giving Tuesday, November 29th. We are asking donors to sponsor one of our Basic English students from Afghanistan. The cost is $35 which will cover the costs of her school supplies, classroom materials, and tea break goodies. Our goal is to have 24 students in two classes — all with sponsors!”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=NFYTWFKE9T552"><em>https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=NFYTWFKE9T552</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*rnJQcXp9fOc6mn2C5RldgA.png" /></figure><h4><a href="https://miryslist.org">Miry’s List</a> (Calabasas, CA)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“The mission of Miry’s List is to improve the experience for new arrival families by filling gaps in the governmental system of support for refugees, and providing a mechanism for our community of supporters to directly help families with the things, people and programming needed to thrive in the United States.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“Giving Tuesday donations will go towards the 2022 Friendsgiving with Miry’s List campaigns, an effort to provide support for 400 more new arrival families in 2023.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give: </strong><a href="https://give.miryslist.org/campaign/2022-friendsgiving-with-mirys-list/c440716"><em>Give.miryslist.org</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*bhelOXyC-tG4IsDcC8BJ8Q.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://n2nsb.com">Neighbor to Neighbor</a> (South Bend, IN)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“Our mission is to create mutual relationships among South Bend’s immigrant and non-immigrant population, through meaningful friendships and community networking.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign: </strong><em>“Neighbor to Neighbor is activating our Drive to Thrive campaign that draws attention to the fact that our community is a driving community. In order to thrive and participate in the community it is essential to be able to drive. Funds raised will go toward the purchase of a driving simulator to safely and confidentiality allow newcomers to practice driving. Funds will also allow us to host classes on the costs and considerations of being a vehicle owner. Drive to Thrive offers dignified community participation.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="http://www.n2nsb.com/donate"><em>www.n2nsb.com/donate</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*fjwFsk47Vk-0MqODsUduSg.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.NewNeighborsPartnership.org">New Neighbors Partnership</a> (New York, NY)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“New Neighbors Partnership welcomes refugees, asylee, and asylum seeking families by helping them forge positive social connections with local families who can provide emotional, informational, and concrete support as they resettle.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“This Giving Tuesday, New Neighbors Partnership is seeking support for a New Moms Group launched to provide postpartum supplies and community for newly arrived refugee moms. Through care packages and weekly sessions led by a certified parenting educator, the New Moms Support Group ensures that isolated moms have a community to care for them and the resources they need to give their babies a strong start.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://newneighborspartnership.kindful.com/?campaign=1198620"><em>https://newneighborspartnership.kindful.com/?campaign=1198620</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*B4B351sSq1DJcLhOFBxBYg.png" /></figure><h4><a href="https://www.refugeeassistancealliance.org">Refugee Assistance Alliance</a> (Miami, FL)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“To help underserved refugees find the practical and language support they need to navigate life in their new homeland.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“Over the past year, Refugee Assistance Alliance (RAA) has grown exponentially. From adding new staff members to support client families, tutors, and volunteers to launching our Community Sponsorship Program (Navigating the USA), RAA is continuing capacity-building efforts into 2023. This year’s Giving Tuesday funds will support RAA’s newest clients — from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Congo, and Burma. Additionally, these funds will further the efforts of Community Sponsorship Teams (CSTs) by providing funds for increased staff hours to support teams as well as funds to disperse to individual teams as needs arise with match families.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.refugeeassistancealliance.org/donate-now"><em>https://www.refugeeassistancealliance.org/donate-now</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/786/1*Dt5fJQHS7rf3uPftxv8Q7g.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://ruthsrefuge.org"><strong>Ruth’s Refuge</strong></a><strong> (Brooklyn, NY)</strong></h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“Ruth’s Refuge is the only organization devoted to providing furniture and home essentials to refugees and asylum seekers rebuilding their lives in New York City.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“This Giving Tuesday, Ruth’s Refuge is participating in Brooklyn Gives. Our goal is to furnish homes for 20 refugee families by raising $60,000. Funds raised will allow us to purchase beds, so no new arrivals have to sleep on the floor, and pay for moving trucks and volunteer mobilization, so we can put our teams of volunteers to work, welcoming new neighbors with home furnishings.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://www.brooklyngives.org/organizations/ruth-s-refuge"><em>https://www.brooklyngives.org/organizations/ruth-s-refuge</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*ef59ctRsIuQkBXbk5hK7Ww.jpeg" /></figure><h4><a href="https://softlandingmissoula.org/">Soft Landing Missoula</a> (Missoula, MT)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission:</strong> <em>“Soft Landing partners with our community to provide supportive services and welcome for refugees and immigrants in Missoula, working together to create a home where new neighbors can integrate and thrive.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“For many families that come through the doors at Soft Landing Missoula’s Community Center, gathering is a large part of emotional health and well-being. Gathering with friends and families is one of the things new neighbors miss most about home. Giving Tuesday donations to Soft Landing help create many opportunities for new neighbors in Missoula to gather, build community, and thrive including: a welcoming and supportive Community Center, gatherings to provide connection and inspire joy, Welcome Dinners, and a program that brings together youth for after school tutoring as well as social and recreational activities.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="http://bit.ly/donate2SLM"><em>bit.ly/donate2SLM</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*mP5QG6UzgBzmm0lbaYmXpQ.png" /></figure><h4><a href="https://welcomehomerefugees.org">Welcome Home Jersey City</a> (Jersey City, NJ)</h4><ul><li><strong>Mission: <em>“</em></strong><em>We support newly arrived refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers in the Jersey City area with educational, employment, and material support.”</em></li><li><strong>Giving Tuesday Campaign:</strong> <em>“The December school break means more meals to prepare and mouths to feed at home, which can lead to food insecurity for new immigrant families who are just getting their footing in Jersey City. In the spirit of giving, please help Welcome Home purchase pantry staples like rice, flour, oil, and dried beans to fill a bag for each of our families this December. In addition, we hope we can raise enough money to purchase prepaid vouchers from a local halal butcher shop for each family.”</em></li><li><strong>Link to give:</strong> <a href="https://welcomehomerefugees.org/campaigns/holidayfoodbags/"><em>https://welcomehomerefugees.org/campaigns/holidayfoodbags/</em></a></li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/969/1*-2W1_gO5Wr1myjKMH9wPOw.jpeg" /></figure><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/proxy/0*pKnxYcg08hvu_bzM.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=4a7c999a5dec" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/support-refugees-and-immigrants-this-giving-tuesday-4a7c999a5dec">Support Refugees and Immigrants this Giving Tuesday!</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Posner Foundation Funds Resilience Grant to Support Ukrainian Arrivals

Tuesday, November 8, 2022
<p><strong><em>In August 2022, </em></strong><a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/"><strong><em>Hello Neighbor</em></strong></a><strong><em> and the </em></strong><a href="https://posnerfoundation.org/"><strong><em>Posner Foundation</em></strong></a><strong><em> partnered to distribute $25,000 to seven US-based nonprofits. Part of the Hello Neighbor Network’s </em></strong><a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/resilience-grants"><strong><em>Resilience Grant program</em></strong></a><strong><em>, these funds were gifted to support capacity building and programming around Ukrainian arrival. Possible projects include growth of volunteer and/or staff capacity, translation, program development, supply acquisition, and more.</em></strong></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*iMveSG7Uzc7nPwYdkrvCUg.png" /></figure><p>The Hello Neighbor Network is honored to share the names of all seven recipient organizations:</p><ul><li><a href="https://echocollectivene.org/">ECHO Collective</a> (Lincoln, NE)</li><li><a href="https://n2nsb.com">Neighbor to Neighbor</a> (South Bend, IN)</li><li><a href="https://www.NewNeighborsPartnership.org">New Neighbors Partnership</a> (New York, NY)</li><li><a href="https://ocjcr.org/">Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees</a> (Santa Ana, CA)</li><li><a href="https://www.treetopscollective.org">Treetops Collective</a> (Grand Rapids, MI)</li><li><a href="https://ruthsrefuge.org">Ruth’s Refuge</a> (Brooklyn, NY)</li><li><a href="https://www.valleyneighborswelcome.org">Valley Neighbors</a> (Kalispell, MT)</li></ul><p>Look for another article in spring 2023 detailing how these organizations harnessed this grant to create impact in their communities.</p><p>If you are a funder interested in learning more about the Hello Neighbor Network Resilience Grant Program, you can <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/support">read more here</a>.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*pKnxYcg08hvu_bzM.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=a19377dc0234" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/posner-foundation-funds-resilience-grant-to-support-ukrainian-arrivals-a19377dc0234">Posner Foundation Funds Resilience Grant to Support Ukrainian Arrivals</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

The Network Visits Seattle, Washington

Friday, October 28, 2022
<figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*QVV97WkoKc66l7zr4TiaWQ.jpeg" /></figure><p>A couple of weeks ago, members of the Hello Neighbor Network team traveled to Seattle, Washington to visit with Network partners, funders, and members on the west coast. This is the second of three site visits made possible by our partners at The Starbucks Foundation as the Network completes filming for an upcoming storytelling project.</p><p>At the start of 2022, Hello Neighbor partnered with The Schultz Family Foundation, The Starbucks Foundation, The Stand Together Foundation, and<a href="http://welcome.us"> </a>Welcome.US to distribute $1.3 million to 60 organizations across the country welcoming Afghans through the <a href="https://www.schultzfamilyfoundation.org/initiative/mobilizing-america-for-refugees-fund">Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund</a>. Over the course of the year, the Network has brought these leaders together into a <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/learning-collaborative">Learning Collaborative</a> to exchange resources and learn from one another.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*4VBnBZi7T-gOnslyowZBow.jpeg" /></figure><p>On Tuesday night, we partnered with Starbucks to host a Grassroots Gathering at the SODO Starbucks Reserve. Representatives of The Schultz Family Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation attended and had the opportunity to meet some of the leaders of organizations supported by the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund.</p><p>One highlight of the night were remarks given by Thanh Tan, Founder and Executive Director of <a href="https://www.vietsforafghans.org/">Viets for Afghans</a>, and Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director of the <a href="https://mapsredmond.org/amen/">Muslim Association of Puget Sound-AMEN</a>. These two leaders have worked together closely to mobilize the Vietnamese community and allies in the Seattle area to support newly arrived Afghans, as they saw so much in common with their and their families experiences of migration to the U.S. During the event, Viets for Afghans made a $50,000 donation to MAPS-AMEN as a continued investment in the community! They also announced a partnership in a forthcoming website of resources for Afghans in the Seattle area (we’ll share more soon!)</p><p>This mutuality, partnership, and community care is at the very heart of what the Hello Neighbor Network can be at its best.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*H-qdKCalb0H60avNmXCaxg.png" /></figure><p>On Wednesday, the Network team visited MAPS at their physical location in Puget Sound. MAPS is the largest Islamic Center in Washington, with a diverse community of over 5,000 families from more than 50 countries. Our team members bore witness to the tremendous beauty of their facilities as well as the myriad of engaging, impactful programs offered by MAPS. Some of the highlights we saw included the facilitation of the five daily Islamic prayers, well-equipped and well-staffed classrooms for youth enrolled in their on-site school, packing and delivery of food, furniture, laptops and other essential items to those in need, and much more.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*cWYM99QeiK7Darzay6TPkw.jpeg" /></figure><p>Thank you to all of our partners and members in Washington who welcomed us this past week. We are grateful for the chance to visit our partners on the west coast and see their work and communities in action. Stay tuned for more updates from our third and final site visit of 2022.</p><p>In Partnership,</p><h4>Your Neighbors at the Network</h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*yvBYJRbGLiTbYSVk.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=be256054ad62" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/the-network-visits-seattle-washington-be256054ad62">The Network Visits Seattle, Washington</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Policy Updates: Sept.-Oct. 2022

Wednesday, October 26, 2022
<p><em>The Hello Neighbor Network will be posting occasional ‘Policy Updates,’ within which we will present a digestible summary of the most important refugee/immigrant-related policy news from the past several weeks. Welcome to our inaugural edition!</em></p><h4>The Biden Administration admits 25,000 refugees during FY22 — 100,000 short of the possible ceiling.</h4><p><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/refugee-admissions-target-2022-biden-administration/">Between October 2021 and September 2022, the Biden Administration welcomed approximately 25,400 refugees</a>. This number was 20% of the 125,000 ceiling set for the year. Not included in this 25,000 are (a) most of the <a href="https://www.state.gov/report-to-congress-on-proposed-refugee-admissions-for-fiscal-year-2023/#overview">80,000+ Afghans</a> admitted under <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/09/27/operation-allies-welcome-announces-departure-all-afghan-nationals-national#:~:text=Since%20its%20establishment%20on%20March,Operation%20Allies%20Welcome%20(OAW).">Operation Allies Welcome</a>, and (b) most of the 100,000+ Ukrainians admitted under <a href="https://www.uscis.gov/ukraine">Uniting for Ukraine</a>. (Many of these Afghan and Ukrainians entered the US as ‘parolees’).</p><p>As explanation for FY22’s low numbers, the Administration points to COVID-19 and the slow ‘return to normal’ following President Trump’s dismantling of the US refugee resettlement program.</p><p><a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/09/27/memorandum-on-presidential-determination-on-refugee-admissions-for-fiscal-year-2023/">Biden announced an equivalent refugee ceiling of 125,000 for FY2023</a>.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*H8iay6kJJzRuU84PWiOYBw.jpeg" /><figcaption>As shared by <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/refugee-admissions-target-2022-biden-administration/">CBS (10/03/2022)</a>, “Ethiopian refugees who fled the fighting in the Tigray Region play football at Umm Rakuba camp in eastern Sudan’s Gedaref State, on August 11, 2021&quot; [Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty Images].</figcaption></figure><h4>The Biden Administration will offer 24,000 eligible Venezuelans the option of humanitarian parole.</h4><p>This <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/12/us/politics/biden-venezuela-migrants-humanitarian-parole.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&amp;referringSource=articleShare">number</a> is smaller than admissions from Ukraine and Afghanistan (as referenced above), and coincides with an <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/10/12/dhs-announces-new-migration-enforcement-process-venezuelans">expansion of the COVID/Trump-era Title 42</a>, enabling the expulsion of undocumented Venezuelans to Mexico.</p><p>Human rights groups welcomed the option of humanitarian parole, but <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/10/17/letter-human-rights-groups-us-secretary-homeland-security-alejandro-n-mayorkas">pushed back against</a> the reinvigoration of Title 42. The on-the-ground impact of Title 42 has begun, with Venezuelan asylum seekers being <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/24/new-crisis-brewing-for-venezuelans-turned-back-at-us-border">turned back at the southern border</a> (versus initiated into the asylum-seeking process, as is their legal right).</p><p><a href="https://www.wola.org/2022/09/weekly-u-s-mexico-border-update-venezuelan-migration-false-addresses-on-asylum-paperwork-white-house-meeting/">Record-breaking numbers of Venezuelan citizens</a> arrived at the US border in the latter months of FY22. In August, that number was 25,000, second only to the number of Mexican migrants. It’s estimated that 200,000 Venezuelans will have traveled through Panama’s Darien Gap by the end of this year.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/770/0*p9F7O12FUS2v2hXr" /><figcaption>As shared by <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/24/new-crisis-brewing-for-venezuelans-turned-back-at-us-border">Al Jazeera (10/24/2022)</a>, “Venezuelan refugees and migrants stand near the Paso del Norte International border bridge, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, October 21 [Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters].”</figcaption></figure><h4>Shifting gears on Afghan resettlement, the Biden Administration announces Operation Enduring Welcome.</h4><p><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/01/politics/afghan-resettlement/index.html"><em>Operation Enduring Welcome</em></a> will refocus Afghan programming from port-of-entry humanitarian parole to longer-term resettlement.</p><p>The US will halt almost all Afghan admittances under humanitarian parole, and will instead pivot towards <a href="http://aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/1/us-to-revise-resettlement-policy-for-afghans-official">longer term resettlement </a>of Afghans who (a) hold green cards, (b) are immediate family members of US citizens, and/or (c) are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) because of previous employment with the US government and/or US government affiliates.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/770/0*OnRXNdybqDGqAfue" /><figcaption>As shared by <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/1/us-to-revise-resettlement-policy-for-afghans-official">Al Jazeera (09/01/2022)</a>, “Afghan refugees at a refugee camp at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, in New Jersey, the United States [File: Andrew Harnik/AP].”</figcaption></figure><h4>Other policy and policy-adjacent news…</h4><ul><li>The <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/09/08/dhs-publishes-fair-and-humane-public-charge-rule">Biden Administration restores pre-2019 interpretations of ‘public charge</a>,’ stating that potential use of non-cash benefits — such as Medicaid or food assistance — are <em>not</em> grounds for ‘public charge’ inadmissibility.</li><li>In collaboration with other governments, <a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-10-06/u-s-to-provide-240-million-new-assistance-for-migrants-across-americas">the U.S. will administer $240 million in humanitarian and security support</a> for migrants across the Western Hemisphere.</li><li>Ethiopian nationals living in the US are now eligible for <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/10/21/dhs-designates-ethiopia-temporary-protected-status-18-months">temporary protected status (TPS), a designation that will last for 18 months</a>.</li><li><a href="https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/uscis-form-and-policy-updates-remove-barriers-to-naturalization-for-applicants-with-disabilities">USCIS “shorten[s] and simplifie[s]” Form N-648</a>. The form is used by individuals with disabilities when requesting exemptions for the English and civic test portions of the naturalization process.</li><li>President Biden signs <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/legislation/2022/10/17/bills-signed-s-169-s-442-s-516-s-958-s-1198-s-2490-s-2551-s-2771-s-2794-s-3157-s-3470-s-4205-s-4791/">the <em>Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act</em></a>, mandating an exploration of employment-related barriers experienced by immigrants and refugees who hold professional degrees/credentials from outside of the US.</li></ul><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/proxy/0*pKnxYcg08hvu_bzM.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=19c9c15e7eda" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/policy-updates-sept-oct-2022-19c9c15e7eda">Policy Updates: Sept.-Oct. 2022</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Network Site Visits in the Beautiful State of Nebraska

Friday, September 30, 2022
<blockquote>We were honored to pay a visit to Nebraska last weekend, home to four of our amazing Network Members, to carry out site visits and conduct filming for an upcoming storytelling project in partnership with Starbucks.</blockquote><p>Our first stop was with Kelly Ross, Founder &amp; Executive Director of <a href="https://echocollectivene.org"><strong>ECHO Collective</strong></a> in Lincoln. Here we got to witness their outstanding and innovative Afghan Maker’s Circle program, wherein local Afghan women gather on a weekly basis to learn English, sewing, and a slew of other useful skills to make their own clothing. ECHO also provides entrepreneurial training to refugee and immigrant women in the community, and has already played a critical role in establishing over 15 businesses owned and operated by these women.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*NiepglRIvE6V-jay7RNw-A.jpeg" /></figure><p>Next we visited James Knywahtoo, Executive Director of the <a href="https://www.karenksn.org/"><strong>Karen Society of Nebraska</strong></a> in Lincoln. We were astonished by the powerful and united community James has helped to build in Lincoln. Serving hundreds of refugees and immigrants each week, KSN’s programming addresses a wide variety of challenges in their community. This includes youth programming, cultural orientation resources, advocacy, social and emotional support, housing support and much more.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*3bb2879ixrfCOmF2.jpg" /></figure><p>Following our time in Lincoln, we were thrilled to drop in on Osuman Issaka, President &amp; CEO of <a href="https://www.thesimplefoundation.org/"><strong>the Simple Foundation</strong></a> in Omaha. The Simple Foundation’s community consists of a large and diverse number of refugees and immigrants; their programming covers a significant breadth of local community needs — especially among young people — including summer camps, academic excellence training, girls programming, family advocacy and resources, sports activities and much more. We got to witness their youngest soccer team (9-year-olds and under) play a fantastic game against another local team; their speed, teamwork, and technical skill at such a young age blew us away!</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*e2FBnRtyx80rEm-K.jpg" /></figure><p>Finally, we visited Jamil Bah-Traore, Founder &amp; Executive Director of <a href="https://www.eatntalkafrica.com/"><strong>Eat N Talk Africa</strong></a> in Omaha. Jamil’s work is truly on the cutting edge of culinary training support for new neighbors and reframing the entire narrative around cultural food across the state of Nebraska and beyond. He prepared an unbelievably delicious 4-course meal of Afro-fusion dishes during our visit, welcoming several members of his family, board chair, and other local leaders share meaningful discussions with the Network. Jamil also introduced us to <a href="https://nmepomaha.org/"><strong>No More Empty Pots</strong></a>, an organization in Omaha empowering community members to both learn more about cooking/entrepreneurship and to incubate talented chefs growing new businesses around their own culturally diverse foods.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*owt-nEhoytoD5whE.jpg" /></figure><p>We express our deepest gratitude to all of the Nebraska-based Network members who enthusiastically welcomed us into their community and provided us a glimpse into the impactful grassroots welcoming efforts they are leading. These visits were filled with so many meaningful and unforgettable experiences; we can’t wait to visit with more of our Network Members and their communities soon.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*FDD9Tof8avaIeKW4.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know the latest from the Network.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=f57308fe51f9" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/network-site-visits-in-the-beautiful-state-of-nebraska-f57308fe51f9">Network Site Visits in the Beautiful State of Nebraska</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Refugee Policy in the United States: 5 Important Summer Stories

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
<blockquote>This article was written by <strong>Sohrab Saljooki</strong>, Hello Neighbor Network’s 2022 summer intern. Sohrab is a rising senior studying History and Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.</blockquote><p>Over the course of this summer, the state of the global refugee crisis changed significantly, with conflicts raging on worldwide that displaced tens of millions of people.</p><p>The United States has historically been situated as <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/62a9d1494/global-trends-report-2021#_ga=2.166694327.824063884.1657199446-39363106.1653570602">the most sought after destination</a> for asylum seekers, stateless people, immigrants, and refugees who have been impacted by conflict and violence. As advocates for refugees and immigrants, we must always ask: what is the United States doing for refugees and immigrants, and is it enough?</p><p>On behalf of the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>, I wanted to share some of the most important policy developments, data analyses, and stories about refugee policy in the United States that you may have missed this summer including:</p><ul><li><em>End of “Remain in Mexico” policy</em></li><li><em>Afghan Adjustment Act reintroduced</em></li><li><em>DHS location tracking of refugees and immigrants</em></li><li><em>Streamlining of the Afghan SIV process</em></li><li><em>Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection</em></li></ul><h4><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/30/politics/supreme-court-immigration-remain-in-mexico/index.html">CNN: Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/780/0*yyoNBu2mNwnTJMzQ.jpg" /><figcaption>Immigrant activists demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in April 2022 (CNN).</figcaption></figure><p>The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Biden Administration as they sought to end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration and asylum policy. The policy required certain non-Mexican asylum seekers to stay in Mexico as their court proceedings continued in the United States. According to Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez:</p><blockquote>“The program, which was first implemented in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump, has been criticized by immigrant-rights advocates, who argue that it’s inhumane and that it exposes asylum seekers with credible claims to dangerous and squalid conditions in Mexico.”</blockquote><p>Since the decision, the Department of Homeland Security paralleled Biden’s position, seeking to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/08/mpp-biden-asylum-mexico/">end the policy as fast as possible.</a></p><h4><a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/democrats-republicans-sponsor-bill-give-thousands-afghans-path-citizenship-2022-08-09/">Reuters: Democrats, Republicans sponsor bill to give thousands of Afghans path to citizenship</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*q2Wy8KdVAccpj7je.jpg" /><figcaption>Members of the Afghan families Karimzai and Salarzai, who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power, cross through the El Chaparral port of entry after being allowed to enter the U.S. as asylum seekers with Title 42 exception, in Tijuana, Mexico, July 22, 2022, REUTERS/Aimee Melo</figcaption></figure><p>On August 9, The Afghan Adjustment Act was introduced into both the House and the Senate, giving Afghans a path to citizenship and expanding on SIV eligibility. The motion was a bipartisan move, with 3 Republican and 3 Democrat senators sponsoring the bill.</p><p>The Afghan Adjustment Act has long been a rally cry for refugee advocates, as the bill gives Afghan refugees who escaped the Taliban a path to permanent resettlement. According to Jonathan Landay:</p><blockquote>“The legislation would allow those evacuees to apply for permanent legal status if they submit to additional background checks.”</blockquote><p>Such a policy, if enacted, would be significant for the status of Afghan refugees.</p><h4><a href="https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/18/dhs-location-data-aclu-00046208">Politico: Homeland Security records show ‘shocking’ use of phone data, ACLU says</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/630/0*yODPKPQ9Vpp5lKGF.jpg" /><figcaption>Lindsay Whitehurst/AP Photo</figcaption></figure><p>In documents obtained in an ACLU lawsuit, it was shown that the DHS, which includes ICE, USCBP, and the USCIS, uses the phone location data of hundreds of thousands of refugees and immigrants to keep track of movement.</p><blockquote>“These agencies seem fully aware that they are exploiting a massive privacy disaster in this country.” — Nathan Freed Wessler, ACLU</blockquote><p>According to the article, the usage of this data has been an explicit decision to combat “criminal goals.” This is significant, because refugee and immigrant communities have <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/28/nypd-surveillance-mosques-terror-spying">a history of being targeted and discriminated by government surveillance</a> under the guise of fighting crime.</p><h4><a href="https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/07/18/statement-secretaries-antony-j-blinken-and-alejandro-n-mayorkas-ongoing-efforts"><strong>Department of Homeland Security: Ongoing Efforts to Support Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Applicants</strong></a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*rdRKGdvN9tpPG3J7.jpg" /><figcaption>Department of Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness (Source: Kathy Wood — CDP)</figcaption></figure><p>As legislative policy to help resettle refugees is debated and voted on for months in Congress, the DHS streamlined the process for Afghan SIV applicants in July. As said by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and DHS Secretary Alejandro Majorkas:</p><blockquote>“Starting this week, new Afghan SIV Program applicants will only need to file one form, a revised form DS-157, as their SIV petition. New applicants will no longer need to file the Form I-360, Petition for Special Immigrant Status, with DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.”</blockquote><p>This is great for Afghan refugees as they don’t have to work with multiple agencies to apply for a visa, vastly improving the asylum bureaucracy which has historically been backlogged and difficult to navigate.</p><h4><a href="https://sway.office.com/O5RDpToINrBebUUl?ref=Link&amp;loc=play">USCRI: A Look at the Los Angeles Declaration and U.S. Commitments to Migration in Latin America</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*UGLYxZtNx71qgd49.png" /><figcaption>American Heads of State present at the 9th Summit of the Americas (Source: state.gov)</figcaption></figure><p>During the 9th Summit of the Americas in early June, 20 heads of state, including President Biden, signed the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection.</p><p>The declaration’s goal is to streamline migration management in North and South America. Furthermore, some states made numerical commitments to refugee resettlement such as the United States, who <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/10/fact-sheet-the-los-angeles-declaration-on-migration-and-protection-u-s-government-and-foreign-partner-deliverables/#:~:text=The%20United%20States%20will%20commit%20to%20resettle%2020%2C000%20refugees%20from%20the%20Americas%20during%20Fiscal%20Years%202023%20to%202024.">pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees from the Americas in FY 2023.</a></p><p>The commitment is great to hear, but policy experts at USCRI made an important point:</p><blockquote>“…without actions taken to increase processing under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), the United States will not meet the 20,000 goal.”</blockquote><p>This means that the problem doesn’t simply lay with little commitment, it is also the lack of broader political will to amend America’s complex and inefficient refugee admissions system.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*YDulmqU--Tte6RUt.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=2edd7f689bc4" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/refugee-policy-in-the-united-states-5-important-summer-stories-2edd7f689bc4">Refugee Policy in the United States: 5 Important Summer Stories</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Refugees: 5 Important Summer Stories

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
<blockquote>This article was written by <strong>Sohrab Saljooki</strong>, Hello Neighbor Network’s 2022 summer intern. Sohrab is a rising senior studying History and Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.</blockquote><p>A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee their country because<br>of war, persecution, or violence. Even in the age of international cooperation and diplomacy, war can still rage on: destroying homes, schools, and lives.</p><p>On behalf of the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>, I wanted to share some of the most important policy developments, data analyses, and stories about the global refugee crisis that you may have missed this summer including:</p><ul><li><em>100 million people are forcibly displaced</em></li><li><em>World report on the health of refugees and migrants</em></li><li><em>Wider acceptance of refugees globally</em></li><li><em>Refugee offshoring policies</em></li><li><em>2023 projections: resettlement needs</em></li></ul><h4><a href="https://www.unhcr.org/refugee-statistics/insights/explainers/100-million-forcibly-displaced.html">UNHCR: More than 100 million people are forcibly displaced</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/771/0*wK44C_WQHW_jE6Bu.png" /><figcaption>*2022 figures are estimated using data available as of 9 June 2022. Source: UNHCR Refugee Data Finder</figcaption></figure><p>Forced displacement, both internal and external, has only increased in scale as conflict worldwide escalates. According to the UNHCR, 1 in every 78 people in the world are currently forced from their homes as a result of violence.</p><blockquote>“…the war in Ukraine has displaced millions within the country as well as to other countries, primarily in Europe. In addition, new internal displacement surged in early 2022, notably in Myanmar and Burkina Faso as the situation in both countries continued to deteriorate.” — UNHCR</blockquote><h4><a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240054462">World Health Organization: World report on the health of refugees and migrants</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/479/0*FcHU5ACPRJ43g8RB.png" /><figcaption>Front page cover for the July 20, 2022 refugee and migrant health report</figcaption></figure><p>This summer, the World Health Organization published an extensive report on the health and wellbeing of refugees and migrants around the world. To better understand the report, here is some key analysis from the health and medical experts who authored it:</p><ul><li>Section 3.8: “The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictive migration policies strongly affected global mobility and international migration.”</li><li>Section 2.2.3: “…structural stigma towards sexual minorities and immigrants has been associated with a lack of knowledge about HIV prevention and service coverage.”</li><li>Section 2.5.1: “Evidence from the United States indicates that health care providers may perceive refugee and migrant parents as having low levels of health literacy, which can have an impact on the establishment of trust between the two parties.”</li><li>Section 2.11.1: “In addition to the risk of communicable disease transmission, refugees and migrants may be exposed to various environmental and social risk factors in their living environment.”</li></ul><h4><a href="https://www.ipsos.com/en-dk/world-refugee-day-2022-part-1#_ga=2.266978567.824063884.1657199446-39363106.1653570602">Ipsos: 78% globally agree that people should be able to take refuge in other countries</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/960/0*qA0WZqo6DPDUZQ2q" /><figcaption>Per: Ipsos Denmark</figcaption></figure><p>As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an international campaign of support for refugees has taken off. According to a survey from Ipsos, broader acceptance of refugees has increased to 78% worldwide:</p><blockquote>“The survey, released today by Ipsos for World Refugee Day on the 20th of June, reveals a global country average of 78% of people, in the 28 countries surveyed, agreed in principle that people should be able to take refuge in other countries, including their own, to escape war or persecution.”</blockquote><p>In a world where borders, immigration, and differing cultures are points of political friction, it is hopeful to see acceptance of those fearing for their lives, no matter where they come from, has only been going up in 2022.</p><h4><a href="https://sway.office.com/D8hHGH0cV5bWYKJj?ref=Link">USCRI: The U.K.-Rwanda Deal and Refugee Offshoring</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*UnvpNbeN5p4dMhia.jpg" /><figcaption>A soldier carries a child from a group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, England, by Border Force, following a small boat incident in the Channel, Tuesday June 14, 2022. Andrew Matthews/AP</figcaption></figure><p>Boris Johnson’s administration in the United Kingdom enforced a new policy which offshores refugees in the U.K. to Rwanda. According to USCRI:</p><blockquote>“Under the new Memorandum of Understanding, the U.K. will relocate individuals who arrive to the U.K. to Rwanda to pursue their asylum claims there as opposed to in the U.K.”</blockquote><p>The legality of the deal was <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/62a317d34">put into question</a> by UNHCR, which said that the policy did not meet the standards for the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which the <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/1951-refugee-convention.html">U.K. is a signatory.</a></p><p>This policy highlights the thin legal protections migrants often face in their host countries, but also the low level of moral responsibility rich countries like the U.K. feel they have. When faced with asylum seekers at their borders, they send them away instead of providing resources, aid, and respecting their rights as dictated by international law.</p><h4><a href="https://www.unhcr.org/62b18e714">UNHCR: 2023 Projected Global Resettlement Needs</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/745/0*5ATNtC8b_IFe4iIt.jpg" /><figcaption>Ecuador, February 2022. Venezuelan family dream of a better future in a new home. © UNHCR/Jaime Giménez</figcaption></figure><p>As I round off the summer recap, it is necessary to further highlight what we can expect in the coming months and years. In this report, UNHCR projects a serious expansion in the refugee crisis and resettlement needs:</p><blockquote>“In 2023, UNHCR estimates that global resettlement needs will significantly increase to 2,003,982 persons, as compared to 2022 when 1,473,156 were estimated to be in need of resettlement.”</blockquote><p>Data like this is disheartening for many reasons but, for the same reasons, knowing there are so many people in need of assistance should inspire you to jump to action. Donate, volunteer, and urge your lawmakers to make change.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*YDulmqU--Tte6RUt.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=7712a3051cca" width="1" height="1" alt=""><hr><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/refugees-5-important-summer-stories-7712a3051cca">Refugees: 5 Important Summer Stories</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Refugees: 5 Important Summer Stories

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
<blockquote>This article was written by <strong>Sohrab Saljooki</strong>, Hello Neighbor Network’s 2022 summer intern. Sohrab is a rising senior studying History and Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.</blockquote><p>A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee their country because<br />of war, persecution, or violence. Even in the age of international cooperation and diplomacy, war can still rage on: destroying homes, schools, and lives.</p><p>On behalf of the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>, I wanted to share some of the most important policy developments, data analyses, and stories about the global refugee crisis that you may have missed this summer including:</p><ul><li><em>100 million people are forcibly displaced</em></li><li><em>World report on the health of refugees and migrants</em></li><li><em>Wider acceptance of refugees globally</em></li><li><em>Refugee offshoring policies</em></li><li><em>2023 projections: resettlement needs</em></li></ul><h4><a href="https://www.unhcr.org/refugee-statistics/insights/explainers/100-million-forcibly-displaced.html">UNHCR: More than 100 million people are forcibly displaced</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/771/0*wK44C_WQHW_jE6Bu.png" /><figcaption>*2022 figures are estimated using data available as of 9 June 2022. Source: UNHCR Refugee Data Finder</figcaption></figure><p>Forced displacement, both internal and external, has only increased in scale as conflict worldwide escalates. According to the UNHCR, 1 in every 78 people in the world are currently forced from their homes as a result of violence.</p><blockquote>“…the war in Ukraine has displaced millions within the country as well as to other countries, primarily in Europe. In addition, new internal displacement surged in early 2022, notably in Myanmar and Burkina Faso as the situation in both countries continued to deteriorate.” — UNHCR</blockquote><h4><a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240054462">World Health Organization: World report on the health of refugees and migrants</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/479/0*FcHU5ACPRJ43g8RB.png" /><figcaption>Front page cover for the July 20, 2022 refugee and migrant health report</figcaption></figure><p>This summer, the World Health Organization published an extensive report on the health and wellbeing of refugees and migrants around the world. To better understand the report, here is some key analysis from the health and medical experts who authored it:</p><ul><li>Section 3.8: “The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictive migration policies strongly affected global mobility and international migration.”</li><li>Section 2.2.3: “…structural stigma towards sexual minorities and immigrants has been associated with a lack of knowledge about HIV prevention and service coverage.”</li><li>Section 2.5.1: “Evidence from the United States indicates that health care providers may perceive refugee and migrant parents as having low levels of health literacy, which can have an impact on the establishment of trust between the two parties.”</li><li>Section 2.11.1: “In addition to the risk of communicable disease transmission, refugees and migrants may be exposed to various environmental and social risk factors in their living environment.”</li></ul><h4><a href="https://www.ipsos.com/en-dk/world-refugee-day-2022-part-1#_ga=2.266978567.824063884.1657199446-39363106.1653570602">Ipsos: 78% globally agree that people should be able to take refuge in other countries</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/960/0*qA0WZqo6DPDUZQ2q" /><figcaption>Per: Ipsos Denmark</figcaption></figure><p>As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an international campaign of support for refugees has taken off. According to a survey from Ipsos, broader acceptance of refugees has increased to 78% worldwide:</p><blockquote>“The survey, released today by Ipsos for World Refugee Day on the 20th of June, reveals a global country average of 78% of people, in the 28 countries surveyed, agreed in principle that people should be able to take refuge in other countries, including their own, to escape war or persecution.”</blockquote><p>In a world where borders, immigration, and differing cultures are points of political friction, it is hopeful to see acceptance of those fearing for their lives, no matter where they come from, has only been going up in 2022.</p><h4><a href="https://sway.office.com/D8hHGH0cV5bWYKJj?ref=Link">USCRI: The U.K.-Rwanda Deal and Refugee Offshoring</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*UnvpNbeN5p4dMhia.jpg" /><figcaption>A soldier carries a child from a group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, England, by Border Force, following a small boat incident in the Channel, Tuesday June 14, 2022. Andrew Matthews/AP</figcaption></figure><p>Boris Johnson’s administration in the United Kingdom enforced a new policy which offshores refugees in the U.K. to Rwanda. According to USCRI:</p><blockquote>“Under the new Memorandum of Understanding, the U.K. will relocate individuals who arrive to the U.K. to Rwanda to pursue their asylum claims there as opposed to in the U.K.”</blockquote><p>The legality of the deal was <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/62a317d34">put into question</a> by UNHCR, which said that the policy did not meet the standards for the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which the <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/1951-refugee-convention.html">U.K. is a signatory.</a></p><p>This policy highlights the thin legal protections migrants often face in their host countries, but also the low level of moral responsibility rich countries like the U.K. feel they have. When faced with asylum seekers at their borders, they send them away instead of providing resources, aid, and respecting their rights as dictated by international law.</p><h4><a href="https://www.unhcr.org/62b18e714">UNHCR: 2023 Projected Global Resettlement Needs</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/745/0*5ATNtC8b_IFe4iIt.jpg" /><figcaption>Ecuador, February 2022. Venezuelan family dream of a better future in a new home. © UNHCR/Jaime Giménez</figcaption></figure><p>As I round off the summer recap, it is necessary to further highlight what we can expect in the coming months and years. In this report, UNHCR projects a serious expansion in the refugee crisis and resettlement needs:</p><blockquote>“In 2023, UNHCR estimates that global resettlement needs will significantly increase to 2,003,982 persons, as compared to 2022 when 1,473,156 were estimated to be in need of resettlement.”</blockquote><p>Data like this is disheartening for many reasons but, for the same reasons, knowing there are so many people in need of assistance should inspire you to jump to action. Donate, volunteer, and urge your lawmakers to make change.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*YDulmqU--Tte6RUt.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=7712a3051cca" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/refugees-5-important-summer-stories-7712a3051cca">Refugees: 5 Important Summer Stories</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Ukrainian Refugees: 5 Important Summer Stories

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
<blockquote>This article was written by <strong>Sohrab Saljooki</strong>, Hello Neighbor Network’s 2022 summer intern. Sohrab is a rising senior studying History and Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.</blockquote><p>The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has quickly become one of the most impactful events of the 21st century. Bombs, guns, and tanks have ravaged a landscape that was once home to millions of people: people that have now been forced to flee to escape violence, resulting in a refugee crisis that rivals World War II in pure scale.</p><p>According to the UNHCR, over <a href="https://data.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine">11 million people</a> have crossed the Ukrainian border since February, a number that continues to grow to this day as warfare refuses to slow down. Western nations, including the United States, have taken swift action to support refugees from Ukraine which raises two questions: how are they helping Ukrainians, and is it enough?</p><p>On behalf of the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io">Hello Neighbor Network</a>, I am sharing some of the most important policy developments, data analyses, and stories about the Ukrainian refugee crisis that you may have missed this summer including:</p><ul><li><em>100,000 Ukrainian refugees resettled in the United States</em></li><li><em>Afghan and Ukrainian refugees being treated differently</em></li><li><em>Millions of refugees return to Ukraine</em></li><li><em>Roma refugees from Ukraine experience serious discrimination</em></li><li><em>American sponsors of Ukrainian refugees targeted with scams</em></li></ul><h4><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/30/us-has-admitted-100000-ukrainian-migrants-it-must-keep-going/"><strong>Washington Post: The U.S. has admitted 100,000 Ukrainian migrants. It must keep going.</strong></a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/916/1*ZyDAgkcwHDsa4AQmjHN97Q.png" /><figcaption>Ukrainian refugees at a refugee center in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on April 21. (Heidi Levine for The Washington Post).</figcaption></figure><p>On March 24, 2022, just one month after the invasion began, <a href="https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/24/us-ukrainian-refugees-00019978">The Biden Administration announced</a> a substantial commitment: the United States will resettle 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. In late July, the administration announced that it had reached its goal in just 4 months.</p><p>This number is by many means very impressive. The United States is an entire ocean away from the conflict, and still accomplished its goal. Nonetheless, perspective is important. 100,000 refugees is, at the time of the announcement, less than 1 percent of the total displaced Ukrainian population. According to Washington Post:</p><blockquote>“Many of the United States’ closest allies have shouldered a greater refugee burden since the war started in February …. Even the smallest NATO members — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, each with a population of fewer than 3 million — have accepted tens of thousands.”</blockquote><p>While we should take the time to celebrate this accomplishment as a nation, we should not cap off our commitment. Instead, we should continue to break expectations.</p><h4><a href="https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/afghan-ukrainian-us-arrivals-parole">Migration Policy Institute: Welcoming Afghans and Ukrainians to the United States: A Case in Similarities and Contrasts</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*_3V1UfypGrJWGXqm.jpg" /><figcaption>Young Afghan girls on the outskirts of Farah City, Afghanistan. (Photo: HMC Josh Ives/U.S. Navy)</figcaption></figure><p>As Ukrainians and Afghans settle into the United States, <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/07/06/1109965531/u-s-is-accused-of-a-double-standard-when-it-comes-to-afghan-and-ukrainian-refuge">refugee and immigration activists have pointed out</a> an unbalanced scale: Ukrainian refugees and Afghan refugees are treated differently.</p><p>The Migration Policy Institute put together a report, authored by Muzaffar Chishti and Jessica Bolter, on the data behind this phenomenon. Some key policy and data points include:</p><ul><li>“54 percent of Americans supported resettling Afghans and 67 percent supported resettling Ukrainians.”</li><li>“More than 17,000 Ukrainians had been paroled into the United States through Uniting for Ukraine, and 24,000 more had been approved but had not yet arrived — presenting a stark contrast to the 297 Afghans who had been granted humanitarian parole over a much longer timeframe.”</li><li>Afghans who have applied for Humanitarian Parole must be interviewed at a consulate, while Ukrainians applying through Uniting for Ukraine do not.</li></ul><h4><a href="https://www.who.int/europe/news/item/16-08-2022-despite-ongoing-war-and-lack-of-access-to-care--many-refugees-return-to-ukraine">World Health Organization: Despite ongoing war and lack of access to care, many refugees return to Ukraine</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*4dO9SffeBvW-CncG" /><figcaption>WHO / Agata Grzybowska / RATS Agency</figcaption></figure><p>Even as the invasion continues and danger persists for million of people within Ukraine, those that had the opportunity to flee still have <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/press/2022/7/62ce6ad64/unhcr-survey-finds-refugees-ukraine-hope-home.html">aspirations to return home.</a></p><p>Millions have taken on the risk to return home. As over 11 million Ukrainians crossed the border, 4 million made the same trip, but in the other direction.</p><blockquote>“A lot of the refugees are women, at around sixty to sixty-five years of age, and they can’t find any work here. They are deciding to go back to Ukraine even if their cities are being bombed. Many of them have left their houses or farms. They have something there, but here they have nothing. Many of them are really stressed.” — Viktoriya Betsal</blockquote><h4><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/07/europe/ukraine-roma-refugees-intl-cmd/index.html">CNN: ‘You are not a refugee.’ Roma refugees fleeing war in Ukraine say they are suffering discrimination and prejudice</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*WkhZuRtOTifC8FGO.jpg" /><figcaption>Nicu Dumitru speaks to a resident at one of the shelters housing predominantly Roma refugees in Bucharest on Saturday, July 16.</figcaption></figure><p>The plight of the Roma in this conflict highlights many important things. Most notably, racism and discrimination between ethnic groups in Europe persist to this day and materially harm millions of people. Prejudice alone can prevent innocent people from accessing necessary resources.</p><p>However, there is another important thing to mention: Roma refugees are the victims of an information war. According to CNN reporter Ivana Kottasová:</p><blockquote>“Roma refugees from Ukraine are routinely accused of not being Ukrainian; they are segregated in low quality accommodation. According to several NGOs, many are given misleading information about their rights; and issues that are easily solved when faced by others who’ve fled Ukraine — such as missing passport stamps — are often used as a reason for them to be turned away.”</blockquote><p>This is a stark reminder that in the information age, it is much easier to spread disinformation to purposefully hurt others, and refugee crises such as the one in Ukraine are a breeding ground for discrimination and disinformation.</p><h4><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/03/us/uniting-for-ukraine-phishing-scam-cec/index.html">CNN: Scammers are targeting sponsors who are trying to help Ukrainians reach the US</a></h4><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/780/0*AjNXKpfcC7opzM2i.jpg" /><figcaption>Ukrainians seeking asylum in the United States are seen on a bus in Tijuana, Mexico, in April.</figcaption></figure><p>While refugees are being targeted with misleading information, those who are doing what they can to provide support are facing similar challenges. Americans who pledged support for Uniting for Ukraine are being targeted with scammers posing as USCIS.</p><p>This is key, because even those that want to provide assistance and resources of their own for those who have lost so much are hitting roadblocks. Scams like this can very seriously turn people away from volunteering their aid in times where support is so necessary.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*z8fCIO7OlcD6udJp.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=54f1db869e4a" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/ukrainian-refugees-5-important-summer-stories-54f1db869e4a">Ukrainian Refugees: 5 Important Summer Stories</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

A Forgotten Life Lesson

Tuesday, July 26, 2022
<blockquote>This article was written by <strong>Sohrab Saljooki</strong>, Hello Neighbor Network’s 2022 summer intern. Sohrab is a rising senior studying History and Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.</blockquote><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*qubs6B2CodD25_H80Tyaug.jpeg" /><figcaption>Pittsburgh’s World Refugee Day Celebration, June 20, 2022.</figcaption></figure><p>June 20th was <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/world-refugee-day.html">World Refugee Day</a> and Pittsburgh celebrates it every year. As a son of a refugee mother, I never knew there was a World Refugee Day and was even less keyed into celebrating the name. However, as a new intern for <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/">Hello Neighbor</a>, I wanted to learn more about the communities here in the United States that share the label of many of my family members. So, I volunteered to help run our table at the event.</p><p>Immediately, the table was daunting. I had to get up to speed on the language we use and our talking points. Many people would come up to our table with very specific questions, many of which I didn’t have good answers to. I was and still am new, learning as I go.</p><p>As I got more comfortable with delivering the necessary information, I focused less on what I was saying and more on truly listening to what others were saying. Many came to the table looking for refugees to talk to for their projects, many came to better understand refugee issues, and most importantly to me, many refugees and immigrants came to the table.</p><p>Hello Neighbor is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of refugees and immigrants, so when these groups asked for more information for future events or applicable aid, I knew what to say and where to point them. Hello Neighbor had prepared me for that.</p><p>What I was not prepared for was the true openness of the refugee and immigrant community. So many would share their stories and situations. Just like my family when they first arrived in the Americas, many newly arrived refugees and immigrants were having trouble one way or another, but to many this wasn’t the end of their time at the table.</p><h3>In one breath they would talk about their experiences and ask how Hello Neighbor could help them, and in the very next they would ask how they could be involved with Hello Neighbor and sign our volunteer sheet.</h3><p>On that day, I was thinking of growing up with my mother. We never had it easy in the United States, but she always emphasized the importance of giving. If someone is struggling and needs help, then help them: that is what community is for. If you have extra resources, then donate them, whether it be money, clothing, or an extra room in your home: that is what it means to be a neighbor. Even in the face of economic deprivation and ethnic discrimination, we always found the time to help a friend set up their wedding or donate extra money to our extended family in Afghanistan: my mother made sure of it.</p><p>Living away from my mother to study at Carnegie Mellon University for the last three years had been hard, but now I realize that I had lost that part of me. I had become insular to the Pittsburgh community as I was hyper-focused on my schoolwork. After seeing so many thriving refugee and immigrant businesses and eager people at World Refugee Day, I realized all I needed was to embrace that community.</p><p>I will make sure not to skip out anymore: there is so much to learn and receive, but also so much to give.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*lOh8tMYGPwlj0Da_.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network is currently accepting applications. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know the latest from the Network.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=f472467cac1" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/a-forgotten-life-lesson-f472467cac1">A Forgotten Life Lesson</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

How To Get Involved in Afghan Resettlement Wherever You Are

Monday, April 18, 2022
<figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*wclVKMEnWGcEr7FT" /><figcaption>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@charleingracia?utm_source=medium&amp;utm_medium=referral">Charlein Gracia</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com?utm_source=medium&amp;utm_medium=referral">Unsplash</a></figcaption></figure><p>As The United States continues to welcome new Afghan neighbors, there is still a huge need for resources, volunteers, financial and community support. Starting a new life in a completely new country is not only overwhelming, but also multifaceted. There are many areas of life that need to be addressed which is what organizations and volunteers across the country assist with every day.</p><p>So many people have it in their heart to want to help, but don’t know where to begin. If this sounds like you, you are in luck! We have created a list of ways you can get involved from the comfort of your home or find volunteer opportunities in your area.</p><h4>1. Support organizations through donations of items needed and money.</h4><p><a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a> members are working tirelessly to assist with resettling their new Afghan neighbors. Since the beginning of the year (and before), <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/grassroots-nonprofits-mobilize-for-afghans-befbe70cb541">our members jumped into action</a>. You can find the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io">full list of affiliated nonprofits here</a> to see how they are helping and how you can get involved to support their goals.</p><h4>2. Get involved with local organizations/volunteer experiences.</h4><p>Helping at a local level is a great way to make a difference right in your own community. But we know that finding volunteer opportunities can be tricky! Luckily, organizations such as <a href="https://www.rescue.org/volunteer">The International Rescue Committee</a> and <a href="https://welcome.us/volunteer">Welcome.US</a> have search engines to filter organizations in your region. You can type in your state or area code to see what is around you, along with those organizations’ contact info. You can also check out the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io">interactive map of Hello Neighbor Network nonprofits</a>. It’s amazing what work is being done in your own backyard!</p><h4>3. Educate Yourself!</h4><p>If you don’t have the means to make donations or are not ready or able to volunteer, the best way to be supportive of this mission is to educate yourself on what is happening. This situation is constantly evolving and a great way to have informed conversations in your community is to have background knowledge on the refugee crisis and immigration. The resources above are great educational tools as well as the following articles!</p><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/five-talking-points-when-youre-asked-why-refugee-resettlement-matters-5ebbb4c24881">5 Reasons Why Refugee Resettlement Matters</a></p><p><a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/what-is-resettlement">What is resettlement?</a></p><p><a href="https://www.newneighborspartnership.org/get-involved">What does SIV mean?</a></p><p><a href="https://www.rescue.org/article/afghanistan-crisis-latest-updates-ways-help">Afghanistan crisis: Latest updates, ways to help (IRC)</a></p><p>Please remember to be kind to yourself while learning about these areas — taking the time to educate yourself is an amazing first step. There is always room to continue to learn and be a lifelong ally to our new neighbors.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*SSywcKlvH8hbawQ3.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=33cac5392e3a" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/how-to-get-involved-in-afghan-resettlement-wherever-you-are-33cac5392e3a">How To Get Involved in Afghan Resettlement Wherever You Are</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Ramadan in a Foreign Land

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
<blockquote><em>This article was written by </em><strong><em>Dr. Sedique Popal, </em></strong><em>Executive Director of the </em><a href="https://www.noorislamicandculturalcommunitycenter.com/"><em>Noor Islamic and Cultural Community Center (NICCC)</em></a><em> in Concord, CA and a member of our 2022 Learning Collaborative Program. Dr. Popal is a Professor of English and Applied Linguistics as well as the TESOL Program Coordinator at the University of San Francisco.</em></blockquote><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*10UKkLc-MFmfrCqhGRiDag.jpeg" /></figure><p>Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries find it difficult to observe Ramadan in a foreign land. <strong>I vividly remember how difficult it was for me and my family to perform all the necessary rituals of Ramadan when we first came to California.</strong> There were neither Afghan mosques nor a coherent Afghan community to provide support and facilitate the rituals of Ramadan. Finding Halal meat was another issue for us during this holy month.</p><p>Now that we have sizable Afghan and Muslim communities in different states, I believe the<strong> resettlement agencies and sponsor circles should introduce the newly arrived Afghan refugees to the Afghan and Muslim communities</strong> so that they can benefit from their services and communion.</p><h4>About Ramadan</h4><p>The holy month of Ramada (fasting) which is also called Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This year (2022), the holy month of Ramadan starts on April 2 and ends on May 1; however, the dates depend on the appearance of the crescent moon and may vary across world. In the Islamic world, Ramadan is observed as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. The main purpose of Ramadan for Muslims is to grow spiritually and to become closer to Allah (God) by abstaining from eating any food, drinking any liquids, smoking any tobacco products, and engaging in any sexual activities from dawn to dusk/sunset.</p><p>Muslims believe Allah forgives the past sins of those Muslims who observe Ramadan with fasting, prayers, and faithful intentions. Muslims gather in their homes or mosques to break their fast with a meal which is called Iftar. Most Muslims break their fast with dates, as was the custom of Prophet Muhammad (MPBUH). Many Muslims perform the traditional prayers of Ramadan which is called Taraway in Farsi/Dari. They perform the Taraway prayers either at home or in their local mosques. In mosques, during these prayers, the entire holy Quran is recited over the course of the month of Ramadan.</p><p>According to Islamic scholars, the holy Quran (Muslims Holy Book) was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (MPBUH) on the Night of Power (Laylat Al-Qadr), one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan (most scholars believe it was on the 27th night of Ramadan). Therefore, Ramadan is considered a month and a period of introspection, communal prayer in the mosque, and the recitation of the holy Quran.</p><p>Ramadan is one the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars include the following:</p><ol><li><strong><em>Shahadah</em></strong> or stating that there is only one God (Allah) and Muhammad<br />(May Peace Be Upon Him) is his prophet.</li><li><strong><em>Salat</em></strong> or prayers performed in special prescribed manner five times a day</li><li><strong><em>Sawm</em></strong> or fasting during the month of Ramadan</li><li><strong><em>Zakat</em></strong> or alms tax designed to benefit the poor and the destitute</li><li><strong><em>Haj</em></strong> or the pilgrimage to Mecca for those Muslims who are physical<br />and financially capable of doing.</li></ol><p>The end of Ramadan is celebrated as Eid al-Fitr, the feast of fast breaking, one of the two major religious holidays of the Muslim calendar.</p><h4>NICCC’s 2022 Ramadan Services</h4><p>Most mosques plan special prayers services and events during the month of Ramadan. The No<a href="https://www.noorislamicandculturalcommunitycenter.com/">or Islamic and Cultural Community Center (NICCC)</a>, which I proudly represent, holds Taraway and the Recitation of the holy Quran prayer service every night of Ramadan from 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM. This is in addition to our regular prayers service five times a day.</p><p>NICCC also provides Iftar (Ramadan dinner) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings during the month of Ramadan. Halal food is catered from a local Afghan restaurant to NICCC for these dinners. About 35 individuals, including some newly arrived Afghan refugees, eat together at NICCC . I’m very pleased to announce that on Saturday, April 16, NICCC has planned a special Iftar/dinner event in honor of the newly arrived Afghan refugees in the City of Concord. About 50 newly arrived Afghan refugee families, over 120 Afghans, are invited to this dinner which is cosponsored by Muslim Community Center (MCC).</p><p>The Noor Islamic and Cultural Community Center (NICCC) prepared a Ramadan services calendar (below) and distributed copies to the newly arrived Afghan refugees at Friday prayers and to those who bring their kids to Sunday School. This calendar was also texted/emailed to the rest of Afghan refugees in Concord. In addition, NICCC partnered with Berkeley Free Mobile Food to deliver free food for newly arrived Afghan refugees on the first day of Ramadan on Saturday, April 2.</p><p>We, at NICCC, plan to continue the food assistance to the newly arrived Afghan refugees throughout the month of Ramadan.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/997/1*gB0YlN4vl2XhNq6F_OvFxQ.png" /></figure><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*q8uKVQxpADNJkZzM.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=54025c55ee6f" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/ramadan-in-a-foreign-land-54025c55ee6f">Ramadan in a Foreign Land</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Network Launches National Study on Refugee Perspectives on Race & Racism in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022
<figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*Q0-R6_GVdOIzJYfZrQiEjQ.png" /></figure><p>The <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io"><strong>Hello Neighbor Network</strong></a><strong>, </strong>with the generous support of <a href="https://walmart.org/how-we-give">The Walmart Foundation</a>,<strong> </strong>is undertaking one of the first national research studies of its kind to understand refugee adult perspectives on race and racism in the U.S. Depending on country of origin, refugees may face race discrimination and violence and carry their own histories of racism from their country of origin. Many do not have an understanding of the history of race, racism, and what it means to be anti-racist in the U.S.</p><p>The findings of our baseline literature review and key informant interviews have been summarized in a brief, “<a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/research">Race &amp; Racism in the U.S.: Educational Gaps for Resettled Refugees”</a> researched and prepared by Jessie Hughes, 2021 Network Intern.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/500/1*P6FgD85izwreq4VGA5w-1w.png" /><figcaption>“<a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/research">Race &amp; Racism in the U.S.: Educational Gaps for Resettled Refugees”</a></figcaption></figure><h3>Baseline Understanding of Formal Education</h3><p>As a first phase in this study, the Network conducted a baseline study to understand the existing formal education available to adult refugees in the resettlement process. The resulting brief sought to answer two questions:</p><ul><li>What are specific acculturation trainings currently in place for adults 18+ moving through the refugee resettlement process?</li><li>Of those, what currently exists for refugee adults around the history of race and racism?</li></ul><p>An overview of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and Orientation to the U.S. is outlined below. Throughout the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Process there are multiple opportunities for orientation to life in the U.S. Many International, Federal, and Volunteer Resettlement Agencies use a set of trainings known as CORE (Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange) and may supplement with additional trainings.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*oes0zdLFkzcqYq36drnLdw.png" /></figure><p>Despite these opportunities for training through the CORE series, based on a literature review and key informant interviews, <strong>our baseline research demonstrated there is no education on the history of race and racism in this country included in formal orientation process.</strong></p><p>On the U.S. Department of Education website under Educational Resources for Immigrants, Refugees, Asylees, and other New Americans there is just one reference to race-based discrimination. This is within the context of the Office of Civil Rights, positioning it as a resource for those facing discrimination “on the basis of race, color, national origin (including lack of English proficiency), disability, sex and age” in federally-funded programs. All other education resources for adult learners are related to literacy, mathematics, English language, or career and technical education and this is where the majority of educational research has focused as well.</p><h3>Key Takeaways</h3><ol><li>The CORE series does not currently include the U.S. history of race and racism as part of the curriculum, and only briefly mentions race as an element of society in the U.S.</li><li>Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are quickly adapting to current cultural needs in their ability to offer trainings on these histories and how they impact our contemporary society in the United States. As a result there is great potential for CBOs to be leveraged going forward.</li></ol><h3>The Research Gap</h3><p>The opportunity, then, is to fill this gap in research to better understand refugee’s internalized racism as well as their understanding and experience of racism in their countries of origin and then in the U.S. and the role they play as neighbors and community members. This research will provide a baseline to develop educational resources that are sorely lacking specific to refugees.</p><h3>Next Steps</h3><p>The Hello Neighbor Network is proud to partner with <a href="https://www.refugeesintowns.org">Tufts University’s Refugees in Towns initiative</a> and Dr. Karen Jacobsen, and <a href="https://www.umass.edu">University of Massachusetts-Amherst</a>’s Dr. Linda Tropp and PhD student, Cierra Abellera, on the next phases of the study.</p><p>The next phase of research will be conducted through two main approaches:</p><ol><li><strong>A national survey</strong>: Led by UMass Amherst, this survey will be distributed among Network members and affiliates to be completed by adult refugees in their communities for a quantitative analysis of current formal and informal education and awareness of racism in the U.S. The survey was developed with input from Black community leaders in Pittsburgh and piloted with refugees in Hello Neighbor’s programs.</li><li><strong>Two in-depth case studies</strong>: Led by Tufts University, there will be two case studies conducted, one in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and one in Mobile, Alabama with graduate student researchers through the <a href="https://www.refugeesintowns.org/">Refugees in Towns initiative</a> for a deep qualitative understanding of perceptions of race and racism among two specific refugee communities.</li></ol><h3>Learn More</h3><p><strong>To learn more about this research as it evolves, hear from communities directly impacted by the work, and be the among the first to see findings, you can </strong><a href="https://helloneighbor.us14.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bf57b31f98292f5d388a5f656&amp;id=210ae6f9c4"><strong>subscribe to our newsletter</strong></a><strong>.</strong></p><p>Initial findings and ongoing conversations were held at the <a href="https://www.refugeesintowns.org/2022conference">Refugee Integration Conference and Arts Festival</a> (March 4–5, at Tufts University and online) and the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/2021-convening">Hello Neighbor Network Convening</a> (June 7–9, in Pittsburgh for Network members).</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*4WkiYfUOT2tc6pET.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=e72c6dc4e7" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/network-launches-national-study-on-refugee-perspectives-on-race-racism-in-the-u-s-e72c6dc4e7">Network Launches National Study on Refugee Perspectives on Race &amp; Racism in the U.S.</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>

Hello Neighbor Network Launches National Advisory Council

Tuesday, February 15, 2022
<p>The <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io">Hello Neighbor Network</a>, a coalition of grassroots organizations engaged in refugee and immigrant support, is launching a National Advisory Council to advise on the further development of its programs as well as the impact on a growing network of nonprofit leaders. The Council will draw on their own areas of expertise and connections to support the strategic growth of the Network and to promote innovation and professional development among its membership.</p><figure><img alt="“Meet the Network Advisory Council!” 11 photos of men and women." src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*MNbAI_-9lswiPwcuuFKvtQ.png" /></figure><p>Members of the Advisory Council bring years of experience in business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, nonprofits, resettlement and media strategies, and in many cases the lived experience of being part of a refugee or immigrant community themselves. The appointment to the council will be from January to December 2022.</p><p>The new Council works with Network members and the refugee and immigrant communities they serve by connecting them with a range of experts in relevant fields and building on the vision for new and existing Network programs. The Network’s innovative <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/support">regrant program</a>, for example, has so far leveraged $127,000 in national funding into local communities and will draw on the Council’s expertise for the next phase in its growth towards increased impact.</p><p>Like the broader Hello Neighbor Network, Council members deeply value refugees and immigrants and the contributions they make to society. More than half of the Council members have direct, lived experience as immigrants or former refugees themselves. The diverse perspectives of the Council will be crucial for community-based organizations in the Network as they build on their impact in their local communities and it will help to place grassroots leaders at the forefront of building inclusive communities across the country.</p><h3>The new Council includes:</h3><ul><li>Basma Alawee</li><li>Adina Berliant-McDougall</li><li>Zack Block</li><li>Alexandra Cavoulacos</li><li>Emily Honstein Stanton</li><li>Fereshteh Ganjavi</li><li>Hanifa Nakiryowa</li><li>Alice Rhee</li><li>Nilofer Merchant</li><li>Benish A. Shah</li><li>Gail Wasserman</li></ul><p>Read more about each Council member below.</p><h3><strong>Basma Alawee </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>Executive Director and Co-Founder, </em><a href="https://www.weavetales.org/"><em>Weavetales</em></a><em> and Hello Neighbor Network 2022 Fellow</em></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/600/0*EDeNPTUQYUPix3uW" /></figure><p>Born and raised in Baghdad, Basma came to the U.S. with her husband as a refugee in 2010, leaving behind her career as an engineer with the Ministry of Oil within the Government of Iraq. Her stories and her activism have been featured in the media, and most recently she was nominated to be one of the <a href="https://www.athena40.org/">Athena40</a> women in the world who are leading change. She was the recipient of the 2019 OneJax Humanitarian Award, and one of the Eve’s Award recipients of 2020. She has also served for many years as the Florida refugee delegate for the Refugee Congress and was elected recently to chair the <a href="https://www.weareallusa.org/o4a">Opportunity For All</a> national campaign. The organization she founded, <a href="https://www.weavetales.org">Weavetales</a>, seeks to humanize the perception of refugees by giving them a voice and correcting misconceptions by spreading the truth about refugees in their own words. Weavetales documents, preserves, and shares the stories of refugees around the world to support global efforts in peace-building and freedom of the press, and uses stories of the refugee experience to promote justice, equity, peace, and safe permanent homes for all.</p><h3>Adina Berliant-McDougall<strong> </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships, </em><a href="http://theajp.org"><em>American Journalism Project</em></a></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*u84A9KF0mMCQDaBo" /></figure><p>Adina is a lead strategist at the <a href="https://www.theajp.org/">American Journalism Project</a>, with oversight of central fundraising communications and operations. Previously, she was development manager at the New York-based local nonprofit news organization <a href="https://citylimits.org/">City Limits</a>, where she led revenue diversification initiatives with a focus on sustainable reader-revenue opportunities. Adina worked in local politics before City Limits, including as a consultant to a New York City mayoral re-election campaign. She is based in New York and has served on the Grants Advisory Committee at the New York Women’s Foundation. She has worked on national democracy reform initiatives and is committed to efforts to increase civic engagement and participation.</p><h3>Zack Block (he/him)</h3><p><em>Nonprofit leader and community activist</em></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/814/0*ZpAToOIDtsYmRmUX" /></figure><p>Zack was born, bred and currently resides in Pittsburgh. He spent many years working as a tax attorney for large public accounting firms and, during that time, dedicated much of his free time to volunteering for countless nonprofit organizations. In doing so, he found out how meaningful his impact could be for the organizations where he served. Zack decided to focus on service and spent the next 8.5 years pursuing his passions for volunteerism, community activism and philanthropy. In his day job he engages and inspires young people to join him in these important efforts. Zack received his bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 2000, and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2005. Zack enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids out and about in his community.</p><h3>Alexandra Cavoulacos<strong> </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>Co-founder, </em><a href="https://www.themuse.com/"><em>The Muse</em></a></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/699/0*3reKsMIoU8gGEcJe" /></figure><p>Alex is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of <a href="http://themuse.com">The Muse</a>, a values-based career platform used by over 75 million people to research companies and careers and named one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World. Her newest venture is Meta Angels, an NFT community focused on generosity and helping others. She is also the co-author of the national bestselling book <a href="http://themuse.com/thenewrules">The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career</a>.</p><p>Alex has a passion for people development and management, and growing employees in their careers to hit their full potential. She is also a frequent speaker on the future of work, career growth and management, entrepreneurship and productivity. She graduated from Yale University and is an alumna of Y Combinator in Silicon Valley. Find more info about Alex <a href="https://acavoulacos.com/about">here</a>.</p><h3>Emily Honstein Stanton (she/her)</h3><p><em>Communications Manager, </em><a href="https://www.icnl.org/"><em>International Center for Not-for-Profit Law</em></a></p><p>Emily is the Communications Manager for the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, where she develops and implements ICNL’s communications strategy. Previously, she was the Senior Digital Communications Officer at the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. Over her five years with AKF, she led a range of communications and interdepartmental projects across the Aga Khan Development Network, focusing on digital engagement, branding, and web strategy.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*g8KhQmirVvaJU9eG" /></figure><p>Other experience includes serving as a Research Associate at the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, exploring the structure of global public media spaces. Emily received her Master of Arts in Global Communication from George Washington University with a concentration in Middle East Studies and ICT in International Affairs. She has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, with minors in Philosophy and Economics from Connecticut College in New London.</p><h3>Fereshteh Ganjavi<strong> </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>Founder &amp; Executive Director, </em><a href="https://www.elenaslight.org/"><em>Elena’s Light</em></a><em> and Hello Neighbor Network 2021 Fellow</em></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/344/0*2gAOROffKSfAzYnj" /></figure><p>Fereshteh is a former Afghan refugee, community advocate and public speaker. In addition to her work as Founder and Executive Director of <a href="https://www.elenaslight.org">Elena’s Light</a>, she works for the <a href="https://rcusa.org">Refugee Council USA</a>. Her passion lies in empowering refugee families through health education, personalized ESL tutoring, and cultural community exchange programs. Her ultimate goal is to advocate for education, insurance and employment rights for everyone regardless of their immigration status.</p><p>Elena’s Light provides free education services, specifically free ESL classes and free health education classes, to the refugee women and their families in our programs. We strive to empower refugee and immigrant women and children in Connecticut, particularly in the New Haven County area.</p><h3>Hanifa Nakiryowa<strong> </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>Program Associate, </em><a href="https://www.jhf.org/"><em>Jewish Healthcare Foundation</em></a><em>, Pittsburgh</em></p><p>Hanifa works primarily under the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s nonprofit operating arm, the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global, where she assists with maternal and child health advocacy and research. In addition, she coordinates the statewide WIC Stakeholders Collaborative.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/0*hNf4kig9kZ6Vo2ST" /></figure><p>A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs with a master’s degree in International Development and Human Security Studies, Hanifa is originally from Uganda. She is an active member of the Pittsburgh community and the Uganda Community in North America at large, and serves as the council representative of Mid-Atlantic Region II for the Ugandans in North America Associate. A passionate human rights activist, Hanifa founded a nonprofit CERESAV in Uganda to raise voices against human rights violations and abuses and to mobilize resources to support the medical care and rehabilitation of acid attack survivors, support the education of their children and promote their economic livelihoods. She is the proud mother of two daughters.</p><h3>Alice Rhee (she/her)</h3><p><em>Senior Philanthropy Executive</em></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/828/0*D9NygoImjUmudLxu" /></figure><p>Alice is a philanthropy executive, journalist, digital video strategist, and two-time Emmy award-winning television producer. She has worked in national news for two decades, including various editorial and production roles at NBC News and as a senior producer of digital video at The Washington Post. She serves on the board of TheGuardian.org, the philanthropic organization that partners with The Guardian to support impactful journalism projects throughout the world and acts as an <a href="https://nathancummings.org/the-nathan-cummings-foundation-welcomes-new-independent-trustee-alice-rhee/">independent trustee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation</a>, a family foundation working to create a more just, vibrant, sustainable, and democratic society. She is also an advisory circle member of JustFund, the only nonprofit grantmaking platform designed by funders and nonprofit leaders of color.</p><p>Alice is the recipient of several national and regional awards including a National Headliners award and the New York Newswomen’s award for her reporting in the days following 9/11. In 2013, she was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Interview category for her work with Andrea Mitchell. Alice is a graduate of Columbia University and McGill University.</p><h3>Nilofer Merchant<strong> </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>Founder, The Intangible Labs (TIL)</em></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/400/0*BdxDVXwFwJ77hf2_" /></figure><p>A former executive at Apple and other Fortune 500 technology companies, Merchant spent 25 years in the technology industry. Her impressive operational accomplishments include shipping over 100 products, netting $18 billion in revenues. She literally wrote the book of “new rules” for business and innovators in our Social Era in 2012. As those insights evolved into accepted truths about our connected world, she again lit the path to the next frontier. Few industries or brands will survive the coming AI and commoditization unless they understand what Merchant calls “Onlyness” — the experience, talent, perspective, and purpose lying untapped in our own people. She was awarded the Future Thinker award by the notable London-based organization, Thinkers 50, noting her as the #1 person most likely to influence the future of management in both theory and practice. An author of three books on innovation, she’s one of the top-ranked management thinkers in the world. Find out more about her work <a href="https://nilofermerchant.com">here</a>.</p><h3>Benish A. Shah, Esq.<strong> </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>VP of Marketing at Stardust.gg</em></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/777/0*8kE38-FupYqSQnrI" /></figure><p>Benish is an award-winning, industry-agnostic go-to-market strategist with more than 10 years of experience taking companies and products to market and growing businesses. Winner of the 2019 Amazing Women in eCommerce Award, she’s worked across CPG, SaaS, media, and fashion. She is the VP of Marketing at Stardust.gg and previously worked at Refinery29 (acquired by VICE Media), Raised Real (acquired by Once Upon a Farm), and more. Benish has taken companies to national and international launches, leading revenue increases by 3x-4x within 18–24 months. She’s a founding member of COVID Tech Connect, a non-profit that raised $10M+ in less than 6 months to help during the COVID 2020 crisis. Benish is an author, releasing her newest children’s book series called <a href="https://anchorandoakpublishing.com/products/the-english-beets-urdu-3-book-set">English Meets Urdu</a> in 2021. Benish graduated from Emory University Law School and George Washington University. Find more information about her work <a href="http://benishshah.com">here</a>.</p><h3>Gail Wasserman<strong> </strong>(she/her)</h3><p><em>Communications Consultant, </em><a href="https://www.wasserman.work/"><em>Wasserman Work</em></a></p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/240/0*InnuTh0S9eK92zYD" /></figure><p>Gail spent the majority of her professional career at American Express, where she retired as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. During her +25-year tenure she led teams in New York, in Asia (from Singapore) and across Europe (from London) where she helped launch Project (Red) to aid people with HIV/AIDS in Africa, Small Business Saturday, and the Luxury Roundtable for the CEOs of some of the world’s top luxury brands. She now divides her time between her communications consultancy, her ceramics business and community service. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife Ilene and their terrier Hazel. Find out more about Gail <a href="https://www.wasserman.work/">here</a>.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*fiU5haWhV8vmyDpu.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&amp;referrerSource=full_rss&amp;postId=10138fdaa239" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/hello-neighbor-network-launches-national-advisory-council-10138fdaa239">Hello Neighbor Network Launches National Advisory Council</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>
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