Workshops and Topics


General Conference Workshops


Citizenship: Changing Times and Changing Approaches
U.S. Citizenship is a goal for many refugees and immigrants.  Recent changes in available funding, and in the citizenship test have raised many questions within these communities.  This workshop will give an overview of the citizenship process, current issues around naturalization, and regional approaches to assisting refugees and immigrants to naturalize.
Panelists:
Bonnie Wasser (Law Office of Bonnie Stern Wasser), Ed Sale (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), Hannelore Ferber Makhani (OneAmerica), Sarah Curry (OneAmerica)
Workshop Session B
 
Cultural Preservation: Youth Programs
The loss of cultural identity can be heartbreaking for refugee and immigrant communities.  Panelists will share information about programs and strategies that have been used to promote the maintenance of culture in various communities.
Panelists:
Jackie Jainga Hyllseth (School’s Out Washington)
Workshop Session A
 
Current Issues in Immigration
This workshop will discuss current issues in immigration, including current laws, advocacy efforts in Washington, and potential for immigration reform.  The panelists represent a variety of perspectives from Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, to OneAmerica and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Panelists: Anne Arries Corsano (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), Jorge L. Barón (Northwest Immigrant Rights Project), Pramila Jayapal (OneAmercia)
Workshop Session A
 
Engaging Families in Supporting the Learning of Young Children
Extended family members and close family friends are critical to the healthy development of young children.  Come learn about opportunities for family and friends to engage in free, facilitated groups to support children’s growth and development.  In addition, workshop attendees will hear about support systems and resources that are available specifically for family and friends who care for young children at home.
Presenter: 
Paula Steinke
Workshop Session C
 
Engaging Washington's Newcomer Elders for Sustainable Capacity Building and Cultural Preservation
Refugee elders face many challenges as they arrive in our communities.  Key challenges include social integration, language service assistance, accessing culturally relevant aging services, and preserving culture within the context of the new resettlement community. Workshop presenters funded by federal “Services to Refugee Elders” grant will share information about statewide project partnerships called Elder Empowerment Sites, whose goal is to restore ethnic elders to leadership roles, teach self-advocacy skills and help elders organize themselves within their peer communities to improve access to local aging service access and sustain capacity for improved services to ethnic elders in the future.
Facilitator:
Alona Chumakov
Panelists:
Abukar Ali (East African Community Services), Andrew Kritovich, Ukrainian Community Center of Washington, Lyubov Parenko (Lutheran Community Services NW), Robert Friedlander (Pacific Asian Empowerment Program)
Workshop Session B
 
Panel: Family Self-Sufficiency and the Seattle Housing Authority
The Seattle Housing Authority’s Division of Community Services will explain how clients can qualify for the Family Self-Sufficiency program and Job Connections program. The presenters will discuss best practices for working with refugee and immigrant communities to attain self-sufficiency. The following questions will be discussed: What are the current challenges that providers are facing?  What are new ways to better serve refugee and immigrant communities?  How can agencies create new partners for the self-sufficiency program?
Panelists:
Asha Mohamed (SHA), Donnell McGee (SHA), John Nguyen (SHA), Laura Etling, Sophy Philips (SHA)
Workshop Session A

Housing Concerns for Refugees and Immigrants
The number of immigrants and refugees in Washington State is constantly increasing every year. Availability of public housing is very limited and private rental house are very expensive. The workshops cover a broad range of topics relating to low-income housing programs: 1) policy, management, and redevelopment of public housing estates, 2) homelessness, 3) gentrification, 4) the challenges of housing newly arrived refugees and immigrants, and 5) options for low-cost homeownership.
Presenters:
Rickie Robinson (King County Housing Authority), Reverend Bill Kirlin (St. Luke’s Lutheran Church), Mohamed Aden (Muslim Housing Services), Pamela Talley (King County Housing Authority), Willard Brown (Seattle Housing Authority)
Workshop Session B
 
How to be a Catalyst for Civic Engagement
Presenters:
Jesús Ybarra Rodríguez, Sebhat Tenna
Workshop Session D
 
I-BEST: Where Education Meets Employment
I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills Training) is a career pathways initiative developed by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to advance low-skill and low-income adults into college workforce programs and livable wage jobs.  Refugees and immigrant adults and high school students comprise a large number of these students.  In this workshop I-BEST coordinators and instructors from across the state will answer questions about the I-BEST model and available programs, funding options, and referral processes for potential students.
Panelists:
Bjorn Benson, Robert Lynch
Workshop Session B
 
Innovative Out-of-School Programs for Refugee and Immigrant Children and Youth
Panelists will present their unique program models with tailored services to engage refugee and immigrant youth.  They will share their experiences and learnings from working with refugee and immigrant students and families.  Workshop will allow time for discussions about the issues, challenges, and strategies involved in developing programs that benefit students and families.
Panelists:
Martin O’Callaghan, Quyet Huynh (Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development Program), Vincent Gonzalez (One World Now!)
Workshop Session C
 
Integrating Refugees Through Enterprise
Many refugees and immigrants who arrive in the United States have significant experience running small businesses in their home countries, and many of them have professional degrees.  Despite this they find it difficult to take advantage of these prior experiences and degrees in the    U.S., and are often trapped in low-paying jobs with little opportunity for advancement. The goal of this workshop is to introduce participants to resources and local programs that support refugees in becoming economically self-sufficient. Refugees and immigrants learn to become economically self-sufficient through microenterprise programs that include technical assistance, financial literacy, and business coaching courses.
Facilitator:
Felix Ngoussou
Workshop Session C
 
Panel: Legal Rights and Protections for Refugees and Immigrants
Panelists from the Washington State Human Rights Commission and the City of Seattle's Office for Civil Rights will give an overview of the legal rights and protections for individuals living in our communities as they pertain to housing, employment and public accommodation.  The workshop will include an overview of the Washington Law Against Discrimination and Fair Housing Laws.
Panelists and Presenters: 
Jacque Larrainzar (Seattle Office of Civil Rights), Nolan Lim (Seattle Office of Civil Rights), Michael Chin (Washington State Human Rights Commission)
Workshop Session C
 
Panel: New Refugee Arrivals
This panel presentation will focus on current refugee resettlement priorities, Washington’s most recent refugee groups, and the issues affecting these newest groups.  Panelists will share their experiences as recently arrived refugees and their perspectives on transitioning to life in the United States.
Facilitators:
Robert “Bob” Johnson (International Rescue Committee), Tom Medina (Department of Social and Health Services)
Workshop Session A
 
Parental Involvement and Advocacy
Learn parents can be more involved in advocating for their children’s education.  This workshop will explore some common barriers faced by parents and effective strategies for navigating educational systems.  Presenter will share resources related to increasing parental awareness and involvement.
Presenter:
Danielle Eidenberg-Noppe (Office of Education Ombudsman)
Workshop Session B
 
Puget Sound Welcome Back Center at Highline Community College
The lack of culturally and linguistically diverse health professionals is compounding the nation’s persistent racial and ethnic health care disparities.  Puget Sound Welcome Back Center—part of the national Welcome Back Initiative—is helping immigrants and refugees who were previously trained in health care in their home countries to re-enter the local healthcare workforce. Learn about the key elements of this initiative’s success and how it has created educational and employment partnerships in our area while helping our immigrant and refugee participants regain their professional identity.
Presenter:
Kris Mason
Workshop Session C
 
Successful High School to College Transitions
Many first generation refugee and immigrant students struggle with the pathway from high school to college.  Learn how to support high school students, both during the college application process and after they enroll in college to ensure their successful college experience.
Presenter:
Senait Habte
Workshop Session D
 
Panel: Unaccompanied Refugee Minors—Challenges and Supports
This workshop will educate attendees about the migration of refugee children to the United States, particularly unaccompanied minors.  Participants will gain an understanding of the unique resettlement needs of unaccompanied refugee children and the resources that are available to support them through that process.  Panelists will include foster parents and resource providers.
Panelists: Catherine England, Christiane Munyemana, Martin O’Callaghan (Bilingual Orientation Center), Meg Venkatachalapathy (Lutheran Community Services), Molly Daggett (Lutheran Community Services)
Workshop Session A
 
Understanding Global Trafficking Practices - A History and Progress of Anti-Trafficking: Women of Color in Washington State
Presenter:
Sutapa Basu
Workshop Session D
 
Working with the Iraqis: Practical challenges in resettling Iraqis in the US
The goal of this workshop is to increase the knowledge and understanding of the service provider community about Iraq’s history, culture, belief system, and address practical challenges that prospective Iraqi refugees might face in adjusting to their new life in the United States. Particularly, the workshop will offer helpful tips and ideas to improve community providers’ communication style and conflict resolution skills to handle expected and unexpected challenges that they might encounter as they interact with this population. This insight is also essential for administrators.
Presenter:
Issam Smeir
Workshop Session D








 
Health Care Track Workshops

These workshops are part of the Refugee and Immigrant Health Care Track, but they are open to conference participants.

Chronic Disease Management, Preventive Medicine for Refugees to the U.S.
Medical staff often find refugee elders a highly rewarding and sometimes challenging population. This workshop offers a lively discussion and exchange of  strategies in finding a therapeutic ‘common ground’ with older refugees and immigrants who have undiagnosed chronic medical problems such as hypertension and heart disease.
Presenters:
Dr. Genji Terasaki, Dr. Frank Stackhouse, Gammada Ibrihim
 
Cross-Cultural Communication
Differences in language, cultural backgrounds, and health belief systems can challenge the therapeutic partnership between patient and provider. Failures in communication can also result in significant safety issues.  This workshop will emphasize the importance of using trained interpreters, heighten awareness of cultural issues in medical care and offer practical strategies for improved communication.
Presenters:
Dr. David Roesel (Harborview International Medicine Clinic), Dr. Genji Terasaki (Harborview International Medicine Clinic), Jennifer Huong (Harborview Community House Calls), Salma Mussa (Harborview Community House Calls)
 
Panel: Culture Matters for HIV Testing and Counseling Programs with East African and Southeast Asian Communities
This panel will focus on local work being done in the area of HIV testing and counseling approaches with African American, East African, Cambodian and Vietnamese women and youth communities.
Panelists:
Donna Bland, Katie Mitchell, Teshay Haile, Tien Duong-Le, Warya Pothan, Yodit Wongelemegist
 
Health Track Wrap-Up - Increasing Communication, Building Strategies
Where do we go from here? - Building strategies, Sharing Resources, Next Steps
Presenter:
Dr. Bill Stauffer
 
Panel: In Our Own Words - Finding Common Ground between Beliefs and Practices
A panel of refugees discusses common beliefs about wellness and medical care in their own country and compare and contrast them to their experience in the United States. The focus will be finding common ground between patients and providers so that the level of care and satisfaction are increased.
Panelists:
Mohamed Hassan, Khawla Hadi, Souchinda Kampradith, Tatiana Weyrick
 
Medication Adherence and Cross-Cultural Work with Pharmacies
This workshop focuses on a broad range of issues regarding medication belief, practices and compliance, and includes the voices from refugees, ethnic pharmacies, and medical professionals, to discuss issues and approaches that work.
Presenters:
Katie Lai, Li Li, PharmD; Kim Lundgreen
 
Refugee Health Screening
More and more refugees are establishing primary care in clinics outside of Seattle. Many of these clinics have little familiarity working with refugees and what can be complex or unfamiliar health issues. The focus of this workshop is to give an overview of what questions should be asked and what health issues should be considered when working with a refugee population. Topics include pre-departure screening and treatment including the country-of-origin setting: risks, epidemiology, and politics.
Presenters:
Dr. Bill Stauffer; Dr. David Roesel; Dr. Suzinne Pak-Gorstein
 
Refugee Mental Health
The refugee experience is both traumatic and complex. The consequence of this volatile combination of trauma, deprivation, loss, and pressured adaptation is often physical and emotional distress. This workshop examines general aspects in the emotional well being of refugees, special considerations for refugee youth, strategies for connecting with clients, and effective interventions, including pharmacological.
Presenters:
Beth Farmer, Katie Gienapp (PhD), Dr. Lorin Boynton; Junko Yamazaki
 
Supporting Refugee Women around Child-Bearing
Different cultural norms around prenatal care, women’s health and child-bearing may provide obstacles in primary care practice, but also present opportunities to deepen the patient relationship and delivery quality care. This workshop will address how other cultures view obstetrics and gynecological issues, pre- and post-natal care, and childbirth, as well as explore avenues for effective cross-cultural work.
Presenters:
Open Arms Perinatal Services, Susan Reid (MD, MPH) (Harborview Medical Center’s Women’s Clinic); Terri Clark (PhD, CNM, ARNP, RN, FACNM) (Faculty at Seattle University College of Nursing/Nurse-Midwife)
 
Treating Refugee Children
Medical staff must take into account special issues when considering the medical well-being and development of refugee children. Topics included in this workshop are country-of-origin setting, assessment of age, developmental delay, under nutrition & micronutrient deficiencies, catch-up immunizations; mental health; chronic diseases and more.
Presenters: Dr. Suzinne Pak-Gorstein, Dr. William Stauffer


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