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KDL Blog

“Comin’ to America” series on refugee issues in West Michigan

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Kent County, MI – Kent District Library is pleased to partner with The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan to present a series of three free programs on one of the most important topics of 2016. Comin’ to America: Creating Community with Newcomers features experts on immigration and refugee issues from local to international perspectives. This series aims to bring open dialogue and fact-based discussion to this controversial topic. These free events are open to the public.

“We look forward to these three discussions and are pleased to be partnering with KDL on this important topic,” says Dixie Anderson, Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. “There is misinformation and, to us, unjustified fear-mongering ‘out there.’ We hope everyone will be willing to ‘give a listen’ to these fine line-up of topics and speakers. We are especially indebted to Consul General George as our nearest foreign neighbor is quietly settling so many Syrian refugees – it will be interesting to see how they are proceeding."

The West Michigan Response to Refugees
Susan Kragt, Executive Director of West Michigan Refugee Education and Cultural Center (WMRECC) will moderate a panel discussing the lessons learned in the process of refugee resettlement, with voices from volunteers, refugee service providers, and newcomers to West Michigan.
Monday, April 18, 6:30 p.m.

Newcomers to Michigan
Bing Goei, Director, State of Michigan Office for New Americans will present on the federal requirements to entering the United States as a refugee, and offer factual data on the economic costs and benefits to developing refugee and immigrant talent in Michigan.
Monday, April 25, 6:30 p.m.

How Canada is Resettling Syrian Refugees
The Honorable Douglas George, Consul General of Canada in Detroit will discuss how Canada is settling over 25,000 Syrian refugees.
Monday, May 2, 6:30 p.m.

Each of these events will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch, 4950 Breton SE, Kentwood.

Kent District Library is a public library system operating 18 branch libraries. KDL serves nearly 400,000 residents of 27 governmental units, comprising most of Kent County, Michigan. KDL is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by millage dollars and private donations. For more information, please contact Communications Manager Heidi Nagel at hnagel@kdl.org

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, in existence since 1949, is dedicated to educating people in western Michigan about other countries and cultures of the world, as well as providing a forum for discussion of critical foreign policy issues. It is a non-partisan, non-advocacy educational 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. With 60 member companies and almost 2500 members, it’s considered one of the best Councils in the national network of 97 World Affairs Councils