By: Charles Barnwell and Bob Glick
On February 11th we had the privilege of joining a group of Americans to welcome new citizens to our beloved United States.
Our group of advocates gathered on Wednesday morning at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to plan a broad and powerful outreach to each and every member of the Georgia General Assembly. We had no legislative agenda. Our goal, simply and powerfully, was to advocate for new Americans. We took action to raise awareness among Georgia senators and representatives as to the unique and powerful contributions new Americans make to the United States and communities in Georgia.
Our group headed first to the offices of legislators to share our message with either the legislator directly or with his or her staff. Our goal included extending a personal invitation to every legislator and staff members to attend the New Americans Celebration, to occur in the Rotunda of the Georgia Capitol later that day. We then headed directly to the secretarial offices outside the Senate and House to directly reach out to legislators on the floor. As senators and representatives came out, we were able to talk directly with many of them about the contribution new Americans make to our society.
From a personal perspective, there are a few important things that have become part of who we are, and are at the core of what we believe:
- Refugees that come to the United States become productive citizens and make unique and powerful contributions to our society;
- All of us share a common humanity, and we are blessed to either be born or to become citizens later in life of the United States;
- Our diverse society makes us strong and unique among nations;
- We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the refugee community in the United States.
The New Americans Celebration happens every February at the Georgia Capitol. If you are able to attend next year, we can assure you a meaningful and powerful experience.
Find materials to become an advocate for new Americans:
CRSA Fact Sheet on New Americans
CRSA 2014 Annual Report