First Global Neighborhood house dinner draws large crowd

A large turnout of students, faculty, and staff – including President Leo M. Lambert – learned about issues of refugee resettlement from the North Carolina African Services Coalition.

The Global Neighborhood Association hosted its first House Dinner of the new academic school year on Sept. 5, the first under a new theme for the year, “Migration: Movement, Transition, and Community Change.”

President Lambert and students discuss refugee  issues at the first Global Neighborhood House Dinner.
As part of the association’s desire to engage with the local community, the first speakers were Million Mekonnen and Latosha Walker from the North Carolina African Services Coalition (NCASC). Located in Greensboro, the Gloabal Neighborhood partners with the coalition to support a refugee family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mekonnen and Walker gave a presentation entitled “Refugee Resettlement: Facts, Processes, and Integration.” Many attendees were surprised to learn about the many stages of the approval, screening and placement process.

Students debate the complex issues surrounding refugee resettlement.
It usually takes about four years for a refugee to be approved for entry into the United States. At that point, agencies such as the NCASC step in to help refugees find affordable housing, learn to purchase necessary supplies like food and clothing, enroll children in school and find work. Refugees much overcome many barriers including language, financial, cultural adjustments and possibly medical and psychological issues.

Those attending Tuesday’s dinner discussed a challenging case study of how to help a refugee family dealing with domestic violence issues. In conclusion, Mekonnen urged anyone who feels strongly about refugee issues to contact their government representatives and voice their concerns.

The next Global Neighborhood Association event will be the first movie in the Film Series. The film will be “Disruption,” a 2014 documentary about the effects of climate change in disasters around the world, and why societies do so little to prevent them. The film will be shown on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Global Commons 103.