A blog written by our members about their experiences at community events.
Trong, Lamisa, and Ms. Ledwon were inspired at the second annual Stories of Refugee Resettlement student panel at Conrad High School. The night was a magical one of breaking down stereotypes, forging human connections, and broadening hearts and minds.
Twa, who is from Thailand, reminded us that refugees are global contributors and not people who only ask for aid and give nothing back to others. She said. "I want to show the world that we are more than what you have heard... I want to become an agent of change... [to show others] that we give back more than we earn." We admire her sense of duty to the world.
Zahra, who is from Iraq, showed us the power of perseverance. We are incredibly proud of her for completing high school and graduating, despite being held back a grade level in middle school. We can't wait to see the incredible things she will accomplish at TWU. She also helped us learn more about resettlement processes in the DFW area by asking the community panelists about gentrification. The experts explained that people tend to resettle near the offices of the resettlement agencies that help them and also near other refugees and immigrants. Furthermore, they want to attend planning meetings to be involved.
Yasmin, who is from Sudan, impressed us with her understanding of the troubles that people around the world go through. She helped us realize that perceptions of places, including the US, are unlike the realities of living there. Her aspirations to go into the medical field remind us that careers of service are so worth it. We were inspired by her English skills, especially since it has only been a year since she moved here from Egypt.
Zainab, who is from Iran, broke down many misconceptions. She showed us the beauty at the heart of her country which is vastly different from the negative images usually shown on news media platforms. We admire the sacrifices that her family made to protect their religion and their beliefs. We thank her for showing us that there is so much more to a group of people than a single story. During the Q&A portion of event, Zainab stressed the importance of ESL programs in her success as a student.
Overall, these four resilient and brave young women made us realize that refugees are human beings first and foremost. They are more than any label we place on them. We encourage all of you to get involved with resettlement and welcoming organizations around the Metroplex.
To learn more about how to help, please follow the links below:
DFW Refugee Volunteer Guide from the UNA-USA DFW Chapter: http://www.dfwrefugeeguide.org/
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: http://www.usccr.gov/
Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs:
International Rescue Committee in Dallas: https://www.rescue.org/united-states/dallas-tx
Refugee Services of Texas in Dallas: https://www.rstx.org/dallas/
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas: http://www.hrionline.org/
#EducationIsNotACrime Campaign: http://www.notacrime.me/
Contact your representatives to demand more funding for English language learner classrooms, better resources for newcomer programs around the community, and increased job opportunities for resettled families.
Contact Information for Representatives
Human Rights Forum members