Session 1 ❧Positive Childhood Experiences: The Antidote to Childhood Trauma Roger Sherman, Idaho Children’s Trust Fund/Prevent Child Abuse Idaho Jane Zink, Idaho STARS, Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children Room: Hatch AB
As the research around ACEs or Adverse Childhood Experiences has grown, collateral research around the role of Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) has developed to understand the importance of building experiences in children’s lives that can buffer the negative experiences measured by ACEs and other adversities. This workshop will explore the positive childhood experiences literature and engage with participants around how to build the HOPE (Health Outcomes from Positive Experiences) framework into their work with refugee families.
Target Audiences: Doctors, nurses, mental health workers, counselors, home health aids, medical interpreters, refugee family caregivers, and any others who work closely with refugees in the physical or mental health fields. Parents of school-aged children as well as people with a general interest in building more welcoming communities.
❧Beyond the Welcome: Successful Refugee Integration Through Storytelling, Public Art, & Civic Engagement Tecle Gebremicheal Angela Smith Room: Hatch CD
Boise has been labeled the most welcoming city in the United States but what is the distinction between a welcoming city and an inclusive city? How can a community move beyond being welcoming to effectively integrating its refugee population into the economic, political and social fabric of society? Former refugee Tecle Gebremicheal and artist and founder of Stronger Shines the Light Inside Angela Smith will discuss racial barriers to success that many refugees face after resettlement and the use of art initiatives to shift public perception about the refugee experience.
Target Audiences: Anyone who is interested learning how to better work with and communicate with people, refugee community leaders, legal advocates, police staff, other refugee advocates, or anyone who has a general interest in building more welcoming communities.
❧ Refugee 101 Rabiou Manzo, International Rescue Committee Room: Simplot A
This workshop will provide information on who refugees are, the different agencies involved in the refugee resettlement process, the vetting process, and laws and policies that support refugee resettlement program. It will also incorporate a panel of individuals who arrived as refugee that will share their experiences coming to Idaho.
❧ Taking Action Against Hate Groups Regionally Kate Bitz, Western States Center Zakir Khan, Western States Center Room: Simplot BD
This workshop will give participants an overview of some of the major players in movements of organized bigotry in Idaho and beyond. We’ll learn about how these groups impact immigrant rights and refugee resettlement work, then collaboratively map out the types of activity participants have seen in their communities. Using these examples, we’ll discuss how to organize around this issue, equipping participants with next steps to take action.
Target Audiences: Community members who want to share their experiences, gain a more systemic understanding of organized bigotry and discuss ways to push back, whether in their capacity as staff at an organization or in their personal capacity or anyone who is interested in understanding more about this issue.
❧A Self-sufficient Future: Bridging the Professional Development Gap for Young Adult Refugee College Students Kirsi Jarvis, Raymon Burton, Marhaba Mohammad Aziz, Ahmad Rasoulpour, One Refugee Room: Simplot C
Since One Refugee’s establishment in 2014, over 200 of our students are now college graduates. In the last three years, we’ve noticed a gap between graduation and securing professional employment, discovering many students graduate with little knowledge of networking skill sets, resume development, or professional networks. This workshop will introduce several professional development barriers students are currently facing and the opportunities One Refugee is implementing to help students become self-sufficient in their professional experiences both before and after graduation.
Target Audiences: Individuals, universities, or organizations interested in learning how to innovate professional development for young adult refugees, employers/ HR leaders from varying sectors, current college students (particularly first generation students from both refugee or non-refugee backgrounds) as well as community providers working with various ages and educational levels within the refugee population.
❧ A Prescription for Language Access Gary Hanes, Gary E. Hanes & Associates, LLC Isbelia Burnham, InterpreLink, Inc. Room: Barnwell
This session will cover language access generally and the “meaningful access” requirements that accompany federally assisted activities. Part of the presentation will be devoted to language assistance in the healthcare sector.
Target Audiences: Service providers that are administering federally assisted programs including resettlement agency staff, volunteers, health providers, community service providers, interpreters, community organizers, law enforcement, officers of the courts, city, count, and state government staff.
❧Journey of Acceptance: Resistance and Welcome Nick Armstrong, Laura Armstrong, Glocal Community Partners Reshma Kamal, Islamic Center of Boise Room: Hatch AB
This workshop aims to promote greater understanding of the history of immigration policy and public attitudes towards immigrants and refugees, as a way of better understanding our current context and lessons learned from our history for moving forward. It will promote greater understanding of the current social landscape of the greater Boise area, foster empathy and expansion of acceptance/hospitality, and generate concrete ideas for improving the process of integration into the community by drawing on personal stories and ideas from those most impacted by social fragmentation and polarization (including stories from refugees and immigrants in the US).
Target Audiences: Anyone is welcome, particularly leaders of the various communities and educators.
❧Mentoring Refugee Youth: Empowering the Next Generation Christina Bruce-Bennion, Idaho Office for Refugees Lexie Cottle, CSI Refugee Program Karley Lafferty, BRTY Buta Mulezi, African Community Development Room: Hatch CD
The number of programs focused on youth with a refugee background are growing in Idaho. This workshop will present an overview of various programs that focus on mentoring refugee youth, the different approaches being used and lessons learned that can help all of us build better supports in the community for this important demographic.
Target Audiences: Anyone working with refugee youth in the community or cares about youth with refugee background.
❧Transcending Power & Privilege: Refugees Breaking into Idaho Healthcare Salwan Swidan, St. Luke’s Health Partners Marwan Sweedan, St. Alphonsus Healthcare System Andrea Christopher, University of Washington C. Scott Smith, University of Washington Dhuha Ali, Mountain States Tumor Institute Room: Simplot A
This workshop will begin with a panel discussion regarding the difficulties and barriers for refugees, in this case physicians, to getting licensed to practice in Idaho. The panelists are an Iraqi cardiologist and a trauma surgeon, as well as a University of Washington expert in health disparities and advocacy education. Participants will then reflect on, and discuss, these stories and their own experiences with an eye toward actions and next steps.
Target Audiences: All members of the health care team (administrators, nurses, therapists, social workers, clerks, etc.) whether or not they are refugees as well as those who know a refugee physician that might want to participate in the GT-Docs group.
❧Trauma-informed Practice Annaliese Jacobsson, Tidwell Social Work Services Myja Maki, Tidwell Social Work Services Room: Simplot BD
It is essential that programs/services targeting refugees are Linguistically appropriate, culturally relevant, and trauma-informed. Adopting a trauma-informed approach means organizational culture must be structured in such a way that language, behaviors, and policies take into consideration the experiences of trauma among users of the services and among staff providing the services. This is accomplished through ongoing staff training and a leadership that realizes the role of trauma in the lives of their staff and the people they serve. Staff are equipped with the skills needed to recognize and effectively address trauma and are also encouraged to take proactive measures for self-care.
Target Audiences: Providers who work with refugees, community leaders, and students.
❧Refugee Student Success in Higher Education Gail Shuck, Boise State University Danny Abedi, Fowzia Adan, Halima Hamud, Shukuru Kamulete, Jamaladdin Mohammadi, Mana Mohamed Room: Simplot C
The presenters, all members (plus the faculty advisor) of the refugee-focused Multilingual Student Alliance of Boise State, will lead interactive activities and share their stories of being successful university students. Participants will share and learn new strategies for guiding prospective college students.
Target Audiences: High school teachers and counselors, youth program coordinators, youth and adult refugees interested in going to college, and those who offer resources and guidance to prospective college students.
❧LEAP Housing Solutions: New Arrival & Homeownership Programs Lisa Shultz, LEAP Charities Terry Graves, LEAP Charities Nate Walsh, Property People Room: Barnwell
LEAP has two housing programs that serve refugees, learn about our Welcome Housing program for new arrivals and Yes You Can program for homeownership! Welcome Housing provides a better beginning for newly arrived refugee families with comfortable, affordable, and furnished transitional housing as an alternative to hotels -- along with providing relationship building right from the start. The ‘Yes You Can’ (YYC) Homebuyer Program is a free service that provides culturally savvy staff and the only realtor in the valley who specializes in serving first time and low-income home buyers, connecting families to education, credit counseling, and downpayment assistance. Join us to learn how you or your clients can utilize LEAP to access stable housing in the Treasure Valley.
Target Audiences: Anyone who wants to help welcome new arrivals to Boise, current or former refugees who want to purchase their own home, but may have some barriers to home-ownership, and other organizations in the Treasure Valley who have clients looking to know more about housing.
Session 3 ❧Designing a Vocational English & Literacy Program for New Arrivals Tara Brandenburg, English Language Center & International Rescue Committee Room: Hatch AB
Participants will learn about the process used to develop the “Spark” Vocational English as a Second Language program at the IRC in Boise. The program utilizes a specialized curriculum tailored to the needs of new-arrival adult refugees with low-literacy skills. This presentation will guide participants through the process of conducting their own needs assessment, developing course objectives, selecting educational resources, and tailoring instruction to the needs of language learners.
Target Audiences: Elementary and high school educators, adult educators, tutors, college students, school counselors and parents of school-aged children as well as those who are interested in best practices and programs that help build more welcoming communities, strengthen resources for refugees, and foster a more inclusive climate.
❧Idaho Museum of International Diaspora: Learn, Discover, & Explore Palina Louangketh, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora Rachel Emenaker, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora Room: Hatch CD
This workshop will engage participants in learning about the milestones, activities, and priorities of the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora (IMID) in past, current, and future contexts. The information gained will enhance the audience’s understanding of the IMID’s business model, how the IMID benefits Idahoans of all backgrounds, and how its innovative multipurpose museum model will bridge knowledge gaps across Idaho, the U.S. and various parts around the world in creative ways.
Target Audiences: Schools, organizations, professional groups with interest to collaborate, and individuals from the broader community and/ or those with 'diaspora' background who wish to support the IMID through volunteerism.
❧The Grump Meter: A Creative Tool for Emotional Self-Regulation at School, Home, and Work Janet Kaufman, Boise State University Room: Simplot A
This workshop will speak to people from all walks of life--educators, mental health professionals, employees/employers, and family members. Participants will learn about the Grump Meter—a visual tool for emotional self-regulation—for supporting well-being at school, work, and home. The Grump Meter is like a ladder with five colored steps to create self-awareness of moods and feelings, and prevent difficult or dangerous behaviors. It is easy to use and make. It was developed to support children, teens, and families who had experienced trauma, and has been used successfully with people of all ages, in all walks of life. One particular focus with refugee youth and families is learning language and tools to identify and express feelings, and learning skills and strategies to prevent upsetting or harmful behavior. Participants in this workshop will learn about our Grump Meter work with refugee students at Rose Park Elementary in Salt Lake, and Borah High in Boise. The workshop will be interactive; participants will make Grump Meters and engage in a range of activities to help them experience the Grump Meter and introduce it in their schools, community organizations, or families. As the Grump Meter has done for so many youth and adults, the hope is that it will give participants and those they can reach new tools for self-awareness, understanding of self and others, opportunities to reflect on their own cultures and the new culture they find themselves in, and more capacity to make active choices about their behavior.
Target Audiences: Educators, mental health professionals, family members, and employers/employees.
❧Confronting White Nationalism in Schools Christina Bruce-Bennion, Idaho Office for Refugees Room: Simplot BD
Schools play a crucial role in the lives of their students and communities in helping to create welcoming, safe learning environments. This interactive workshop will define and explore the resurgence of white nationalism in the US, examine the documented outreach strategies of many WN groups that target school age youth, and discuss specific strategies that school communities can implement to push back against white nationalism and hate so that all of their staff and students can learn and work in safe, inclusive schools. The workshop will introduce participants to a toolkit developed by the Western States Center that outlines strategies for all levels of a school community: parents, students, administration, and staff.
❧Collecting Client Feedback Data Floor de Ruijter, Switchboard Room: Simplot C
This introductory session on collecting client feedback data will cover key questions for choosing appropriate feedback methods, and provide an overview of individual methods such as surveys, focus groups and interviews. The session will incorporate an interactive group activity to help participants break down what they want to learn by collecting client feedback data, what data elements they would need, and how this data could be used. The session will also provide a brief introduction to Switchboard. Switchboard is a one-stop hub for state agencies, resettlement agencies and affiliates, community-based organizations, and other ORR-funded providers seeking technical assistance, training, resources, and research. For more about Switchboard, visit www.SwitchboardTA.org.
Target Audiences: Refugee service providers (including direct service staff, monitoring and evaluation or data staff, and leadership) who are interested in introductory training and practice activities on the topic of gathering client feedback data.
❧Knowledge, Reflection and Action: Certify Your Value Dan Prinzing, Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Room: Barnwell
Do you value diversity, inclusion, civility and respect in the workplace? Do you embrace an ethical code of conduct in day-to-day operations? Are you willing to be an “upstander” and confront injustice when heard or witnessed? Designed, developed and delivered by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, the “Human Rights Certification Program” brings an online community together to gain knowledge, reflect, and commit to taking action in their business or organization. Proclaim your value set in the workplace by earning – and posting – that you are certified in human rights. Learn why and how when you attend “Knowledge, Reflection, and Action: Certify Your Values.”
Target Audiences: Workers within any organization who choose to move from a person of passion to an upstander in the workplace committed to protecting and promoting the values of diversity, inclusion, civility, and respect as well as engaging in an ethical framework in their day-to-day operations.
❧Improving Mental Health Care Access for Refugees via an Innovative Provider Network Issa Spatrisano, Catholic Social Services Alaska – Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services Room: Hatch AB
A 2015 needs assessment identified that refugees resettled to Alaska did not have access to mental health services due to a number of issues including Alaska Medicaid. Providers report that while many are interested in serving forced migrants, they do not believe that they have the knowledge, skills, and support to effectively provide services. Consequently, in 2018 a university-community partnership formed to address this need, which led to the creation of an innovative provider network. A series of specialized trainings was developed and funded by a local community foundation. Mental health care professionals were able to enroll in trainings for free and receive continuing education credits for their participation. A description of the formation of the provider network along with preliminary outcomes of the trainings, including their effect on providers’ knowledge, confidence, and intention, ability, and commitment to serve refugees will be presented. Attendees will be encouraged to consider how they can use lessons learned from this provider network to improve mental health care access in their communities.
Target Audiences: Health providers, resettlement agencies, and university faculty and students
❧ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) in the Language Learning Classroom: Building a Learner Community of Confidence and Strength Kate Udall, Idaho Office for Refugees Lesley McCandless, College of Western Idaho Room: Hatch CD
This presentation will introduce participants to ABCD, (Asset Based Community Development) a strategy for sustainable community development used nationwide. The appeal of ABCD lies in its premise that communities can drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilizing existing, but often unrecognized assets. ABCD builds on the assets that are already found in the community and mobilizes individuals and groups to come together to build on their assets-- not concentrate on their needs. As applied in the language learning classroom, ABCD can be a powerful model to empower students and build a community of security, empathy, and strength.
Target Audiences: Elementary and high school educators, adult educators, tutors, college students, school counselors and parents of school-aged children.
❧Social Integration: A Strategy Workshop Laura Armstrong, Glocal Community Partners Michelle Larson, Glocal Community Partners Room: Simplot A
Social Integration is a big part of resettlement. This workshop will be a unique community discussion looking at Social Integration here in the Greater Boise Valley. What is it, how important is it to refugees, what is going on currently, and how can we better coordinate our efforts. If you have done any work in the effort to integrate our new neighbors, we would love to have you be a part of this discussion.
Target Audiences: Anyone who came as a refugee or works with people who are refugees especially those living in the Greater Treasure Valley.
❧Effective Storytelling in an Advocacy Space Zakir Khan, Western States Center Kate Bitz, Western States Center Room: Simplot BD
This workshop will focus on teaching participants the necessary tools to achieve effective storytelling. Participants will engage in activities to learn the elements of storytelling, the right emotions to move audiences, what the difference is between messaging and storytelling, and how important it is to quickly connect with audiences.
Target Audiences: Staff and community members serving in outwardly facing roles where they connect with media and other stakeholders as well as non-outwardly facing staff and youth who will soon be within those roles.
❧Empowering Students through Leadership Jaimie Skinner, The Rising Phoenix Foundation & West Ada School District Room: Simplot C
This workshop will inspire you and provide opportunities to lead youth towards leadership in the community as well as on a global scale. Participants will learn about the importance of embracing our roots while building a stronger future. Local students who have come through the refugee resettlement program, will discuss how they found their way through leadership activities that promote a stronger community, built their self-confidence and raised enough money to support 12 kids in the Democratic Republic of Congo for this school year, and what their goals are for the future. This workshop will not only leave you feeling good, but also empower you to want to make a difference.
Target Audiences: Educators or counselors (elementary- post secondary) who work with students through the refugee resettlement program as well as community members who want to be involved in the leadership activities.
❧Building Strategic Business Partnerships to Support Your Initiatives and Legislation Carrie Sturrock, We Hire Refugees Room: Barnwell
Learn how to galvanize businesses in your area to support refugee resettlement by building a deeper understanding of how refugees make companies and the economy stronger. Learn effective outreach strategies to begin building crucial support that could come in handy for initiatives and legislation that financially strengthen the refugee resettlement ecosystem.
Target Audiences: Refugee resettlement agencies and service providers or anyone who knows or has a connection to small business owners.
❧Working with Police Jessica Knarr, Boise Police Department Room: Hatch AB
Officer Jessica Knarr from Boise Police Department will share knowledge about accessing police services. Whether you or a client are interacting with law enforcement as a victim, suspect, or witness, a better understanding of what to expect can reduce frustration and disappointment. Officer Knarr will cover access to interpretation services for LEP individuals in these situations and what to expect during common incidents that police handle.
❧Pre-Apprenticeships for English Language Learners: the Integrated Education and Training Model Molly Valceschini, Idaho Career & Technical Education Trevi Hardy, College of Western Idaho Room: Hatch CD
Learn about building pre-apprenticeship programs for English language learners using the Integrated Education and Training model. Hear from past program participants and adult education providers on successes, challenges, and strategies.
Target Audiences: Employers, ESL teachers, refugee service providers, and adult education service providers.
❧Restoring Hope: How to Care for Yourself to Stay in Humanitarian Work Elizabeth Rutten-Turner, Saint Alphonsus Center for Global Health & Healing Tessa Murdock-Bell, Saint Alphonsus Center for Global Health & Healing Room: Simplot A
Caring for ourselves and our teams is important when working in high-stress jobs because vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burn out and/or moral injury are real concerns. Yet for many of us, it’s difficult to know how or where to start to protect ourselves or to heal when we have been impacted. This workshop will discuss ways working with individuals who have survived trauma impacts our body, mind and spirit; signs/symptoms of vicarious trauma to watch for, and ways to cope and transform individually and as teams.
Target Audiences: Direct service providers and team leaders.
❧The Invisible Wall: New Barriers to Receiving Legal Status and Strategies for Fighting Back Kathryn Railsback, University of Idaho Immigration Law Clinic Rabiou Manzo, International Rescue Committee Kristin Ruether, International Rescue Committee Room: Simplot C
The last several years have brought a tsunami of anti-immigration proposals from this administration. These include proposals reducing access to fee waivers, fee increases, restrictions on low-income immigrants, restrictions on visas from several mostly-Muslim countries, and more. We are also seeing heightened scrutiny on applications leading to serious delays and denials. The panelists will review the new policies, summarize their status, and provide suggestions for mitigating their impacts on refugees and immigrants.
❧Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Refugee Community Health Worker Programs Collin Elias, Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Room: Barnwell
This presentation will describe the community-based peer programs (funded through IDHW) that empower refugees to carry out on their own or with assistance from others, day-to-day tasks necessary for maintaining good health and becoming well established. These programs use trusted peers with real-life experiences and solutions to overcoming common challenges faced by refugees when accessing and utilizing health services and trying to become established in their new community.
Target Audiences: Anyone is welcome, mainly people providing direct services to refugees or in program development.
Idaho Office for refugees
1607 W. Jefferson St. Boise, ID 83702 208.336.4222