Welcoming Week: Celebrating & Supporting Our Refugee Neighbors

September 16, 2020

Both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, refugees in the United States have served alongside long-time residents as essential workers, helping to keep our communities fed, healthy, and safe. Refugees are also engaged in countless acts of neighborly kindness and contribute to the wellbeing of their communities and our country in ways both big and small.

As part of Welcoming Week 2020, an annual celebration of welcoming communities, the Refugee Advocacy Lab, Refugees International, Refugee Congress, International Refugee Assistance Project, International Rescue Committee, and World Education Services hosted a webinar on how refugees enrich our country.

The conversation will explore the barriers that refugees face in contributing at their full potential in medical, teaching, and other fields—and how effective policies can remove these barriers and generate benefits for refugees, their families, and long-time residents. We will also discuss how storytelling and advocacy can be used to help achieve policy change. This event is the second in a series on refugees giving back to their communities.

Opening Remarks

Cindy Huang, Vice President of Strategic Outreach at Refugees International, will provide opening remarks and officially launch the Refugee Advocacy Lab, an initiative to grow the diverse constituency for U.S. leadership on refugee protection.


Lubab al-Quraishi, an Iraqi pathologist who leads a team of international doctors to administer COVID-19 test in New York Nursing homes.

Dr. Sherif Nasr, MD, Hematopathologist, President of Siparadigm Diagnostic Informatics Lab

Bertine Bahige, M.Ed. Principal at Rawhide Elementary School, Gillette, WY

Jacki Esposito, the Director of U.S. Policy and Advocacy at World Education Services.


Lourena Gboeah, Board Chair of Refugee Congress