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 & 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&referrerSource=full_rss&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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