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Quarterly Consultation at Kean University

Following the growth in support for refugees in recent years, the IRC in Elizabeth's Alison Millan began gathering interested community groups quarterly to discuss resources and issues facing refugees in the area. While often hosted at the IRC's office in Elizabeth, this quarter's special consultation met at nearby Kean University. 

Veronicah Mwaniki, Economic Empowerment Supervisor with the IRC in Elizabeth, addresses the consultation's attendees at Kean University. Photo: Alison Millan/IRC.

On June 19th, community partners and stakeholders from 17 diverse organizations joined the IRC for a special quarterly consultation meeting at Kean University’s Human Rights Institute.  Union County Freeholder Bette Joan Kowalski and a representative from the 20th Legislative district were in attendance, along with individuals from the NJ Department of Human Services, New Jersey Office for Refugees, Elizabeth Police Department, Newark Community Health Center, SMILE, Elizabeth Public Schools, Family and Children’s Services, Inc., One World One Love, Refugee Assistance Partners and ICNA Relief. One day before World Refugee Day, the meeting reinforced the sense of support in the community for refugees resettled in New Jersey.

Alison Millan, Resettlement Director for the IRC in Elizabeth, began the meeting with an overview of refugees arriving to Union County. Cornerstone Counseling Communications Consultant Freshta Taeb then spoke about their partnership with IRC and the communication counseling services they provide refugees. Afterwards, attendees broke into round table discussions on how to meet the needs of refugees.

To conclude the meeting, those in attendance enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by refugee cooks Amal, from Syria, Ghamar, from Iran, and Masiha, from Afghanistan.  These women were brought together by The United Tastes of America, and co-Founder Kate McCaffrey was in attendance to speak about the program. Overall, it was an excellent afternoon of engagement from community partners dedicated to helping refugees in New Jersey.

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