On September 10th, CIC welcomed ten new Americorps members for training as the Immigrant and Refugee Service Corps.
[one_half]I am one of them serving here at the Center for Interfaith Cooperation. We are currently serving at eight community organizations engaged in relationships with immigrants and refugees around Indianapolis. In addition to helping build capacity at those organizations we will function as an independent group encouraging collaboration, hosting events, and developing resources, so that our city can better engage, support, learn from, and celebrate immigrant and refugee communities.
In training, we were encouraged by the efforts already in motion throughout Indianapolis. In addition to meeting with our affiliated organizations, we attended the Sister Cities Festival, Refugee Health Forum, Refugee Collaboration Committee, and we heard from individuals of those communities- all putting forth their best efforts to encourage the health and vibrancy of all our Indianapolis residents. We were also sufficiently overwhelmed, learning about processes and experiences often encountered by refugees and immigrants. It was essential to spend a large portion of our training digesting these things and offering our own experiences to each other as perspective moving forward.[/one_half]
[three_fourth]As a team, we’ve begun developing the most effective efforts we can offer towards the communities of immigrants and refugees here in Indy, as well as the service providers. From my point of view, our challenge is to be persistent about building relationships with individuals from within those communities, so that as we grow as a group, we can facilitate collaborations and communication that will encourage intuitive, complimentary partnerships among immigrants, refugees, organizations, and more native communities.
– Ben Leslie[/three_fourth]
Rita Lwin – Catholic Charities
Waddell Hamer Jr. – Franklin College
Eman Botros – Exodus Refugee
Liz Thompson – Butler’s Center for Citizenship and Community
Sarah R. M. Johnson – Immigrant Welcome Center
Patricia Alonso – Immigrant Welcome Center
Hector J. Hernandez – CTS Counseling Center
Lyndsay Crespo – Big Car Service Center
Esteban Ortiz – Muslim Alliance of Indiana
Ben Leslie – Center for Interfaith Cooperation [/one_half_last]