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Refugee Summit in Cleveland
Cleveland City Hall
October 30, 2014

The first Refugee Summit in Cleveland was held Thursday October 30, 2014 in the Rotunda of City Hall. The Summit was hosted by City of Cleveland Health and Human Services Committee, Councilman Joe Cimperman (Ward 3) and in partnership with the Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland.

The theme of the Summit was: Get the facts. Fight misconceptions. Explore next steps.

Dan Moulthrop, CEO of the City Club served as Moderator of the Summit which drew about 120 people to the Rotunda.

Dan Moulthrop at Cleveland Refugee Summit

Dan Moulthrop


He introduced Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman who was a driving force behind the first Refugee Summit.

Councilman Joe Cimperman at Cleveland Refugee Summit

Councilman Joe Cimperman



Next, Brian Upton, Executive Director, Building Hope in the City, gave an overview of the Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland (RSC).

Brian Upton, Executive Director, Building Hope in the City at Cleveland Refugee Summit

Brian Upton, Executive Director, Building Hope in the City



Tom Mrosko, Catholic Charities Director of Migrant and Refugee Services gave a presentation titled Refugee 101 that told what refugees are, where they come from, how they get here, what happens to them when they arrive and so on.

Tom Mrosko, Director, Catholic Charities Migrant and Refugee Services

Tom Mrosko, Director, Catholic Charities Migrant and Refugee Services

Refugee 101 slide

Refugee 101 - Cleveland

Refugee 101 - Initial Settlement

Tom Mrosko, Director, Catholic Charities Migrant and Refugee Services

Tom Mrosko



Then a panel of Refugees told their stories - Our Lives in Cleveland.

Our Lives in Cleveland  Refugee Panel

Our Lives in Cleveland Refugee Panel

Louise Mugongo

Louise Mugongo told her story of being a refugee from Congo



Mouyad Abduljabar

Mouyad Abduljabar

Ganga Diyali

Ganga Diyali

Helen Tarkhanova

Helen Tarkhanova


Helen Tarkhanova told how most people outside the US get their vision of America from Hollywood and think that everyone lives like that.



The next panel told how Refugees Benefit Cleveland.

How Refugees Benefit Cleveland Panel

How Refugees Benefit Cleveland Panel

John McMicken, CEO of Evergreen Cooperative Corporation

John McMicken, CEO of Evergreen Cooperative Corporation

Jose Manzanares, Senior Kitchen Manager, Cheesecake Factory

Jose Manzanares, Senior Kitchen Manager, Cheesecake Factory



Brian Upton

Brian Upton

Lou Tisler, Executive Director at Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland

Lou Tisler, Executive Director at
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland

Darren Hamm, Deputy Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland

Darren Hamm, Deputy Director,
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland

Daryl Anderson, Real Estate agent at Keller Williams

Daryl Anderson, Real Estate agent at Keller Williams

Maggie Fitzpatrick, manager of the REAP (Refugee Empowerment Agriculture Program) at Ohio City Farm

Maggie Fitzpatrick, manager of REAP
(Refugee Empowerment Agriculture Program) at Ohio City Farm

Moderator Dan Moulthrop

Moderator Dan Moulthrop


The third panel discussed how Cleveland Supports Refugees.

Maria Bozak, Guidance Counselor at Thomas Jefferson - Newcomers Academy of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, said it was a pleasure to work with the 395 refugee students in the Cleveland School District.

Maria Bozak, Guidance Counselor at Thomas Jefferson - Newcomers Academy of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Maria Bozak, Guidance Counselor at Thomas Jefferson - Newcomers Academy of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District



Dr. Erick Kauffman, Chief Medical Director, Neighborhood Family Practice

Dr. Erick Kauffman, Chief Medical Director, Neighborhood Family Practice

Chief Valarie McCall

Chief Valarie McCall


After the panels, the audience participated in a Q & A session with Dan Moulthrop, Janus Small and Michael Byun.

The very successful first Cleveland Refugee Summit ended with a Call to Action.



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