Former refugee receives inaugural Walk of Courage Award

Rebuilding Hope, August 2013 edition
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Chris Phan (right) and Checago Bright (left)

Chris Phan (right) and Checago Bright (left)

On June 19th, LIRS presented the very first Walk of Courage Award to refugee advocate, Chris Phan. This award aims to highlight the accomplishments of successful former refugees, as part of promoting a pro-refugee climate in the U.S.

Chris immigrated from Vietnam when he was eight years old, and is now a Garden Grove City Councilman. His many other accomplishments include military service in Iraq as the legal counsel of a SEAL squadron, Assistant District Attorney, and chairman of the board at a non-profit organization that serves immigrants, refugees, and low-income clients.

Chris says he is simply pleased to be able to give something back to the country that first welcomed him, saying:

“My dream of running for office began when I was a young boy who just arrived in the United States. However, I wanted to give back to America first, for the freedom she gave me, by serving in our military.”

Chris continues to work hard pushing for the rights of other refugees coming to the U.S., who are looking for similar opportunities, adding “as a former refugee, I am proud to advocate for, and support, the people who need it most.”

LIRS CEO, Linda Hartke says giving the award to Chris was a great honor, and hopes the award and annual award event will help build stronger relationships within the former refugee community.

Linda remarks, “He is an incredible example of courage, determination, and commitment to giving back to others that is lived out by so many refugees who have strengthened our nation. This is what the award is all about and why Chris is getting it.”

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