Feature Archives
Rainbow Welcome Initiative

Presents at Project SOAR Conference

The Rainbow Welcome Initiative is pleased to announce its presentation at Project SOAR’s upcoming annual conference, to be held in Chicago June 25th-26th. The Rainbow Welcome Initiative will present "Strengthening Services for LGBT Refugees & Asylees." This presentation is intended to help resettlement staff better understand terminology and concepts relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, enabling them to effectively respond to the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) refugees and asylees.  The presentation will focus on cultural differences in sexuality and gender identity, assess risks to LGBT refugees and asylees from within the refugee community and society at large, and address special mental health and physical safety concerns.  The presentation will also address special resettlement concerns such as housing, employment, and discrimination.  The presentation will help programs strategize agency action plans to create open and accessible programs in which LGBT refugees and asylees will feel comfortable accessing services. Rainbow Welcome staff will also be available to conduct one-on-one coaching sessions with individuals during the conference.

Project SOAR's Annual Workshop serves as an opportunity to bring together representatives from ECBOs, other refugee agencies, ORR, and ORR’s Technical Assistance providers to network, share best practices, and gain tools and ideas to further their refugee integration work. The conference will feature presentations as well as one-on-one coaching sessions conducted by field experts on a variety of topics.

Project SOAR (Strengthening Organizations Assisting Refugees) provides technical assistance to ethnic community-based organizations and other agencies working with refugees. Funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and implemented by the International Rescue Committee and the Nationalities Service Center, Project SOAR works with agencies to develop and deliver quality services to refugees and improve organizational sustainability.

For additional information, please contact Daniel Weyl at dweyl@heartlandalliance.org. For workshop specific information, or more on Project SOAR, visit www.ethniccommunities.org.