In a new initiative that strives to combat anti-refugee sentiment around the country, HIAS, along with several partners—the Center for Applied Linguistics; Church World Service; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services; the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, working closely with Welcoming America and Refugee Council USA— recently launched The Linking Communities (TLC) Project: Creating Welcome for Refugees. The project’s objective is to implement some of the recommendations made in HIAS’ report from earlier this year entitled Resettlement at Risk, which focused on how to meet emerging challenges to refugee resettlement in local communities. TLC seeks to build and supports community capacity at the national and local levels to generate and maintain broad-based commitment to resettlement in local communities.
The project officially launched in July in Washington, DC with a meeting of project partners, representatives from national resettlement and other agencies, and stakeholders from Ohio and Pennsylvania. In the coming months, the project will draw participation from more stakeholders in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In December, participants will gather for a day-long training and strategy session in each state to learn new techniques and best practices, and to create and broaden networks through which they can engage their communities. The project will provide funding to local groups to support some of this work. At the conclusion of the project, HIAS and the project partners will share lessons learned and best practices with refugee resettlement agencies and other stakeholders across the country to foster welcoming environments for refugees. Click here to learn more about this project and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.