The Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland and Councilman Joe Cimperman hosted a workshop to discuss a citywide strategy to make Cleveland the most welcoming city for refugees to thrive and contribute. Together, we can improve access to refugees and other members of our community, providing opportunities for success for all who call Cleveland home.
People from various walks of life who had a connection to this issue gathered at the Ariel International Center.
Councilman Joe Cimperman offered a welcome and opening remarks. He explained the need for the workshop and how Cleveland could be a model for other cities. He cited 3 goals of the Summit: Building relationships among city leaders and those working in relevant refugee services fields, Educating each other about the issues and Creating a blueprint to make Cleveland the number one city in the county for refugees in five years.
Councilman Joe Cimperman
Councilman Cimperman then introduced Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson who lent his support.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish spoke next.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish
Councilman Cimperman told how he met Ariel International's Radhika Reddy before she had fixed up her building. Radhika told her story of the Ariel Center.
The last speaker before the work groups was Stacy Dever, Program Director of Migration and Refugee Services of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland. She gave a primer on what a refugee is, how long they are typically refugees, where and how they are resettled and so on. She said that the US typically takes in about 70,000 refugees per year.
The workshops were organized by interest so there were tables for languages, transportation, housing, education, health and so on. Look for a status update and report from Councilman Cimperman based on the workshop.
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