2016 Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy

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Refugee leaders and an LIRS staff member walk past the Supreme Court on their way to lobby Members of Congress in support of migrant and refugee rights. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

A group shot of the 2015 Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy participants. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

Participants in the 2016 Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy will meet again with White House officials in the Old Executive Office Building, as they did last year. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

A prayer is held in the office of Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa before Academy participants share their refugee stories with the Senator. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

LIRS Director of Advocacy, Britney Nystrom and Academy participants during a meeting with White House officials in the Old Executive Office Building. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Attendees discuss community organizing strategy during a leadership training workshop led by LIRS staff. Baltimore, Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Claudette Nshimiyimana, former Rwandan refugee and Executive Director at the Center for Refugee Advocacy and Support, speaks during the Academy’s press event. The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

Tej Mishra meets with Senator Elizabeth Warren during the Academy’s Hill Visits.
Washington D.C. June 17, 2015.

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Senator Joni Ernst shakes hands with an Academy participant after a meeting in her office. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

A pose to demonstrate the strength migrants and resilience of resettled refugees! In front of the Supreme Court. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

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Migrants, refugees, faith leaders, and White House officials met during the Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy to discuss the skills and talents that migrants and refugees bring to our country, as well as discuss the hardships they face here. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

Folabi Olagbaju, LIRS’s Director of Outreach, poses for a photo on his way out of a successful meeting with White House officials during the Academy. Washington, D.C. Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

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Washington, DC, June 18-20, 2016

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is excited to announce our Fourth Annual Migrant & Refugee Leadership Academy will take place this June in Washington, D.C.

The Academy is a great opportunity to celebrate World Refugee Day (on June 20th) by bringing together resettled refugee and migrant leaders from across the country for an intensive grassroots training conference. At the Academy participants come together to share experiences, network and hone the skills necessary to co-advocate on issues of importance to new Americans. The Academy will equip participants with storytelling skills and leadership enrichment training to effectively organize in their local communities and share their experiences. Our goal Academy is to lift up the voices of all migrants and refugees and empower them to become strong advocate for issues of importance to their communities

The 2016 Academy will bring together 30-35 migrant and refugee leaders from eight strategically targeted cities. Academy participants were selected for their demonstrated leadership experience and connection to larger migrant and refugee communities. One of the unique features of this year’s Academy is the greater involvement of previous Academy participants in planning and facilitating the event. Additionally, participants will work as conference cohorts based on the city in which they live, in order to magnify the impact of the training. Participants are expected to take the experience back to their cities and work together to mobilize other newcomers and engage in sustained advocacy for creating more welcoming communities.

The 2016 Academy includes participants from the following areas:

  • Baltimore/ Washington D.C.

  • Concord

  • Columbus

  • Dallas/ Ft. Worth

  • Minneapolis/ St. Paul

  • New York City

  • Omaha

  • Salt Lake City

Please feel free to contact Amy Delo at ADelo@lirs.org if you have follow up questions about the event or the application process. All press inquiries should be directed to Miji Bell at MBell@lirs.org.

Click here for a library of documents and resources to help you prepare for the event.