Press Release: Launching the Refugee Consortium of North Dakota

May 6, 2015. Fargo ND.

Today during the NDSU Award of Excellence ceremony, 2015 Chamber of Commerce Faculty Service Award Winner, Dr. Kevin Brooks, will offer his award stipend as a fundraising match to launch the Refugee Consortium of North Dakota. Friends and supporters have added to the match: Brooks and the Consortium hope to raise $20,000 by May 22nd to fund The Consortium’s operations and programming for the rest of 2015.

Brooks, a Professor of English and Bush Foundation Fellow for 2013-15, has spent the last two years reviving Giving + Learning, an in-home English Language Learning program that served the FM area from 2001-2011. He has matched approximately 60 tutors and 75 learners over the past 18 months and has personally put in over 100 hours of tutoring at the Fargo Adult Learning Center and Kennedy Elementary’s International Family Night.

Giving + Learning will continue as an education program within the Refugee Consortium of North Dakota. The Consortium currently has three members—African Initiative for Progress, Somali Community Develop of North Dakota, and the Bhutanese Community Association of Fargo—and will continue to add membership in order to build a united and resourceful coalition. The Consortium’s work is being enthusiastically received in the area by educational, governmental, and the social service sector agencies. Rather than having services provided for refugees, the Consortium is taking the initiative to have refugees support refugees in a mutually beneficial relationship.

The Consortium envisions developing The WE Center: Where WELLNESS and EMPOWERMENT Happen. The WE Center will continue to offer English and Citizenship classes, but also host a women’s empowerment group, a language exchange program where host community members can learn Arabic, Somali, or Nepalese, summer programming for kids, and community conversations about multiple ways of knowing and healing. The WE Center will bring together the refugee community and the host community to build social bridges, bonds, and links that have not fully developed in the FM Area.

For more information about The Consortium: http://www.refugeesconsortium-nd.org/

For more information about the fundraiser: http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/launching-the-refugee-consortium-of-north-dakota/344784

To schedule an interview, please contact
Kevin Brooks: kabbie@mac.com or 205-2709
Christian Harris: christianforprogress@aol.com or 491-0628

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