By: Robin Deutsch Edwards
If you have come to this page looking for an older Thought Leadership piece, please scroll down to the archives.
It may sound cliché, but becoming a parent four and a half years ago made me look at the world with a new sense of responsibility. No longer am I accountable for my actions alone, but I am charged with raising two small humans to be good citizens. To me being a good citizen means caring for those less fortunate by birth or circumstance, protecting the vulnerable and actively working to make the world a better place.
Through circumstance of birth – not merit – I benefit from a lot of privilege. I have access to education, healthcare, a safe home, more than enough food, the ability to travel and resources to make choices in my profession. I have never had to flee a dangerous situation and my nuclear family is intact and safe.
A transition and an opportunity
Until January, we lived in Brooklyn, a dense and complicated place where it wasn’t uncommon to hear 20+ languages on our local playground on any given day. I was active in our synagogue’s social justice efforts in Brooklyn – a collection of advocacy, hands-on service and one-off activities – but still searching for a way to make a greater impact. When my husband, kids and I relocated to Atlanta, finding a way to get involved in local efforts, to use my time and energy to support vulnerable communities, was a huge personal priority.
After attending a volunteer orientation in the spring, I got involved in an effort to create a brand-new fundraising channel for New American Pathways. Together with the passionate staff of New American Pathways we built a new “do-it-yourself” fundraising platform, called PathDriver, which launched with the Board and a few volunteers on World Refugee Day in June.
With DIY fundraising anything can be turned into a way to raise money – forgoing gifts on a birthday or significant anniversary, taking on a challenge to shave your head or eat a ghost pepper, or even a local lemonade stand. And it’s easy. In a matter of hours after sending an email to just a few of my family members and friends I raised more than $1,000 and each time I follow up, more critical unrestricted funding goes to New American Pathways.
These are critical times – do something!
The newly emboldened xenophobic climate in the country makes supporting the vulnerable and actively fighting discrimination against the ‘other’ all the more important. We’re facing a volley of challenges ranging from Muslim bans and caps on refugees from specific, targeted countries to dangerous proposed legislation like Senator Perdue’s RAISE Act and torchlit, white supremacist marches.
If you are wondering what concrete steps you can take to make a real difference, join us and become a PathDriver. Get creative or use the ready-made templates to raise money to help vulnerable refugee and immigrant populations in our local community.
July 2017: Civic Engagement Regardless of Citizenship by Maria del Rosario Palacios
June 2017: Celebrating World Refugee Day by Rabbi Peter S. Berg
May 2017: Love>Fear: And It’s Good For Business by Bonnie Kallenberg
April 2017:Talking with Babies Makes Their Brains Smarter by Nitza Vega-Lahr, Ph.D.
March 2017: It’s All About Student Support by Terry Segovis
February 2017: Clarkston, Georgia: An Ever-Changing Town by Awet Eyasu
January 2017: Reclaiming Georgia’s Legacy of Love by Paedia Mixon
December 2016: Reflections on Welcoming Communities Trip to Germany by Alicia Phillip
November 2016: Thanksgiving in America by Bishop Robert Wright
October 2016: Voting: The Real American Dream by Elizabeth Poythress
August/September 2016: From the Road: das Willkommen by Paedia Mixon
July 2016: My Life In AmeriCorps by Lauren Mertens
June 2016: Reflecting On World Refugee Day
May 2016: A Gift for my Parents by Bee Nguyen
April 2016: The Ripple Effect by Breauna Hagen
March 2016: Lessons I’ve Learned Tutoring a Refugee by Ashley Hager
February 2016: For the Love of Humanity by Safia Jama
January 2016: 4D Service Learning at The Galloway School by Scotti Belfi
November and December 2015: A Case for Syrian Resettlement by Paedia Mixon
October 2015: Creating a Welcoming Atlanta Interview with Luisa Cardona
September 2015: Third-Annual Red, White and NEW Event Exceeds Fundraising and Advocacy Goals by Kelley Lugo
August 2015: Patti Garrett – August 2015 Food for Thought by Patti Garrett
July 2015: Engaging International Families in Parent Groups by Patti Ghezzi
June 2015: Reflecting on the Fourth of July by Kevin Abel
May 2015: Looking Back on Iraq by Whitney Kweskin
April 2015: All Hail Hall by Spencer Hall
March 2015: Honoring our Volunteers by Adriana Varela
February 2015: Celebrating New Americans by Charles Barnwell and Bob Glick
January 2015: What Refugees Leave Behind by Wendy Cheeks
December 2014: Welcoming Week in Atlanta by Emily Pelton
ARTICLES | LINKS:
Refugee entrepreneurs are expanding prosperity for all Atlantans by opening new businesses that add to the tax base, employ local residents, and bring fresh ideas and products to our community.
ARTICLES | LINKS:
“Doing Business Like a Refugee” – For countries that embrace refugee business, what follows is often a boon to the economy, and an outlet for the refugees themselves. Via NPR Planet Money
“Where are refugees to the US coming from?” : via Washington Post
“U.S. Religious Leaders Embrace Cause of Migrant Children” – This summer, religious leaders across the United States lead the cause of welcoming unaccompanied migrant children to their communities. via New York Times Link
“The Children of the Drug Wars: A Refugee Crisis, Not an Immigration Crisis” – The ongoing issues facing Central American countries, forcing thousands of unaccompanied children are complicated. Here is one view of the crisis. via New York Times Link
What Do You Think?