Forum

Levin College Forum

Refugees as Your Neighbor
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Thursday, February 21, 2019
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Roberta Steinbacher Atrium
Levin College of Urban Affairs
Cleveland State University
1717 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115
Registration


About this Event

Join us for an enlightening conversation on the topic of refugees and resettlement. Lydia Baguma and Khoon Thomas Kate, two Cleveland refugees, will share their compelling and personal stories, and two documentaries, Alida and The Interpreter, from the RSC’s series, “Refugees as Your Neighbor” will be aired. Attendees will be invited to participate in “Refugee 101”, a session that examines the path to resettlement, the resettlement process, and the refugee experience. Attendees will also hear from a panel as they answer questions focused on present-day challenges in the context of the current political climate.

SPEAKERS

LydiaLydia Baguma
Lydia Baguma was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and fled to Uganda in 2003 due to war and violence.  While in Uganda, Lydia was able to study for her bachelor’s in Human Rights, Peace and Humanitarian Interventions, and work towards a law degree.  She attended both Kampala International University and Uganda Christian University.  Lydia has previous work experience with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as an Operations Assistant, the Wiakati Foundation as an Operations Manager, and with Barnabas and Sons Law Firm as a Law Clerk.  Lydia was granted refugee status and was resettled in the United States in November 2018.  Lydia now lives in Cleveland, Ohio and is working full time at St. Augustine Health Campus as a Personal Aide to elderly adults.  She hopes to continue her education and attend law school with a focus on Immigration Law. 

Khoon Thomas Kate
Khoon Thomas Kate is currently a program coordinator of scholarship and Adult Tutoring (Karen Community) at the Refugee Response.  Mr. Kate was a resettled refugee from Burma and lived in a refugee camp in Thailand for about 12 years.  Mr. Kate speaks Karen, Karenni, Thai, Burmese and English languages fluently, and provides translation and interpretation support for families resettled to Cleveland. Prior to working with The Refugee Response, Mr. Kate was an English Teacher and Extracurricular Program Coordinator in the Karenni Refugee Camp where he and his family lived in Thailand.  He had also worked at The Burma Project Education Office, Karenni State Post High School and in other organizations throughout Thailand whereby he provided interpretation of US Homeland Security Department during conducting interview, instructor, and athletic director or served as a student counselor.  Mr. Kate received a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 2008 from Rangsit University in Bangkok, Thailand. 

PANELISTS

Jason Cheek, RN
Jason Cheek is Neighborhood Family Practice’s refugee health program nurse coordinator. Jason joined NFP in 2009, as a staff and telephone triage nurse before transitioning to refugee services. He helped grow refugee services from a two-person team to five-person team that screened more than 900 patients annually at the height of refugee resettlement between 2015-2016. He calls his work with newly resettled refugees the most challenging and rewarding experience of his career. Jason has 25 years of experience in various nursing specialties, including cardiac medical-surgical, family practice, hospice, pulmonary, medical intensive care and oncology. Jason earned his bachelor of science in nursing from Kent State University in 1997. Born and raised in North Royalton, Ohio, he has a deep understanding of the communities he cares for at NFP.

Christine Foote
Christine Foote is a Coordinator of Teaching and Learning for the Lakewood City Schools where she focuses on literacy and supporting instruction for English Learners across the district.  She holds a Master’s of Science in Education from Cleveland State University and a Master’s of Arts in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. Christine's first teaching assignment in New Orleans, Louisiana galvanized her beliefs about educational equality and excellence, and it has influenced her for twenty years now. Her resulting professional journey traverses classroom and administration, elementary through collegiate instruction, educational consulting and professional development.

Khoon Thomas Kate
Khoon Thomas Kate is currently a program coordinator of scholarship and Adult Tutoring (Karen Community) at the Refugee Response.  Mr. Kate was a resettled refugee from Burma and lived in a refugee camp in Thailand for about 12 years.  Mr. Kate speaks Karen, Karenni, Thai, Burmese and English languages fluently, and provides translation and interpretation support for families resettled to Cleveland. Prior to working with The Refugee Response, Mr. Kate was an English Teacher and Extracurricular Program Coordinator in the Karenni Refugee Camp where he and his family lived in Thailand.  He had also worked at The Burma Project Education Office, Karenni State Post High School and in other organizations throughout Thailand whereby he provided interpretation of US Homeland Security Department during conducting interview, instructor, and athletic director or served as a student counselor.  Mr. Kate received a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 2008 from Rangsit University in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Hilary Lucas, Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services
Hilary Lucas is the Program Administrator, at Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services, for refugee employment programs from date of arrival, up to six months post arrival.  Hilary coordinates with Cleveland businesses to hire refugees, assists refugees with employment training, and ensures self-sufficiency. Hilary also oversees volunteer/mentor coordination, parish outreach, and an employment program for survivors of human trafficking for MRS.

PANEL MODERATOR

David Dombrowiak, President and CEO at Community West Foundation
David Dombrowiak has been the President and CEO of the Community West Foundation for almost twenty years.  During his tenure, he has worked tirelessly to change the focus of the foundation’s work on serving the least of our brothers and sisters.  Many local leaders and organizations have honored him for his work, as well as by the U. S. Senate and the White House.
David has two degrees in philosophy, and has studied medical bioethics at Georgetown University, all of which has greatly informed his work. He has studied and practiced the world’s religions – both Eastern and Western --  in his search for truth, which has led him to the conclusion that the spark of the Divine exists in all human beings. David has been committed to the refugee community and refugee issues for many years and has been a long-time supporter of Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders, and an ardent activist for peace.

REFUGEE 101 FACILITATOR

Andy Mathay, Catholic Charities, Migration Refugee Services

Event Documentaries
The Interpreter
Local filmmaker, Kevin Kerwin beautifully tells the story of “interpreter” Q. 
Alida
Local filmmaker Paul Sobota tells the story of Alida, a 94-year-old Clevelander that has become the unofficial mother and grandmother to so many local refugees.


Sponsors
  • Office of Civic Engagement, Cleveland State University
  • Refugee Services Collaborative
     
Registration

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