Refugees Giving Back to Their Communities during COVID and Beyond

Both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, refugees in the United States have been amongst those serving as essential workers, helping to keep our communities fed, healthy, and safe. Refugees are also engaged in countless acts of neighborly kindness. They are contributing to the wellbeing of their communities and our country in ways both big and small.

Refugees International, Refugee Congress, Veterans for American Ideals, Human Rights First, and Refugee Council USA hosted a webinar on July 9, 2020, on the ways that refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable migrants contribute to our communities and ways to communicate about these critical contributions to build support for refugee protection.


Cindy Huang, Refugees International’s Vice President of Strategic Outreach


Mariam Adams, an Iraqi refugee who spent 4 years as an interpreter for the U.S. military before fleeing religious and political persecution and coming to the United States in 2008 through the Special Immigrant Visa program. She will be joined by Colonel Richard Welch, a distinguished military veteran who worked with Mariam in Iraq and was instrumental in assisting her and her family’s escape.

Yebrail Saul Pineda, an asylee from Colombia who is now working as a manager at a COVID-19 testing site.

George Tarr, Refugee Congress Delegate from New York and recent college graduate who is helping provide essential items to vulnerable community members.

Suzette Brooks Masters, a thought leader in messaging and social cohesion who is a Senior Strategist at the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council.