Monthly Archives: October 2012

Denis: IRC Picnic

I was in charge of planning the IRC’s summer picnic for our refugee clients and volunteers, staff, and friends of the IRC. As I have never planned an event on such a large scale before, I found it to be a daunting task. With no idea where to begin, I started coming up with a plan for the event. I decided to hold it at Seahurst Park in Burien as it was the most accessible to our clients and had a great area that could hold over one hundred people. The next step was to find donations from local businesses that could support this event. While I was worried at first, local businesses stepped up and donated $420.00 worth of food for the picnic. Needless to say, we had plenty of food for all of the estimated 100 attendees. I can honestly say that I exceeded my expectations and feel proud of my work.

Tagged , , ,

Nicola: Newcomer Refugee Toolkit Resources Online!

Following my presentation at the SOAR Pieces Conference, I entered a phase of intensive editing with the support of my supervisor, and finally on August 31 A Resource Toolkit to Help Newcomer Parents Navigate the U.S. School System was complete and went online, solidifying its sustainability. There it can be easily accessed or referenced.  We highlighted the toolkit at the Refugee School Impact Grant orientation at the end of September along with the youth toolkit, entitled An Orientation Resource to Support Youth with School and Cultural Adjustment, which I have also completed and uploaded.

These resources can be found on the School’s Out Washington website at

Tagged , , ,

Traci: Reflecting on Artvocacy

After the conclusion of the IRC’s refugee art event, Artvocacy, an older Iraqi man that I had recruited as an artist came up to me and with the deepest sincerity thanked me over and over for the opportunity to participate in the event. He told me that he hasn’t had many opportunities to share his art since moving to the United States, and what a wonderful night it was for him to get to tell people about his art. It was such a great moment for me to realize that this event was truly about the artists and spreading awareness of their lives as refugees through their story as artists.

Also as a part of the event, we had a USCIS Naturalization Ceremony, where 5 or 6 refugees swore in as US citizens. This was a great moment because it deeply connected the event to its celebration of World Refugee Day. The best part of the ceremony was when two children of one of the new US citizens led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. A definite tear jerker!

Tagged , , , ,