Immigrant Justice Team and Refugees from Afghanistan – For five years, refugee and immigrant education and advocacy has been an issue of focus for the Stan Greenspon Center. As the United States military departs from Afghanistan, so many people of Afghanistan are fearing for their safety and fleeing from the violence – those who worked with Americans, those who fought for women’s rights, and those whose religious practices diverge from the Taliban’s religious practice. There is an expectation that a good number of Afghanistan refugees will arrive in North Carolina. Click here for Spectrum News Coverage on the preparation our NC Refugee Agencies (https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2021/08/25/nc-refugee-agencies-prepare-for-influx-of-afghans).
We will keep our advocates posted as soon as we hear from Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency (CRRA) whether there is a need for volunteers to help set up apartments in Charlotte or collect items for incoming Afghan refugees to North Carolina and we will keep them posted if we hear from Refugee Support Services (RSS) that there is a need for “fruitful friends” – a year-long commitment for a resettlement buddy family. To learn more about how you can use your voice to support Afghanistan refuges, visit the HIAS briefing on Afghanistan refugee situation – https://www.hias.org/crisis-afghanistan-how-you-can-help
Housing Justice Advocacy Team – The affordable housing team will be meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm to be briefed on a county-wide effort called the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing and Homeless Strategy, the first comprehensive effort to address housing instability and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg involving the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Since the launch of CMHHS in April 2021, over 250 individuals and 115 organizations have participated in the planning and development work. Nine workstreams have been working since May 2021 to draft recommendations informed by research and best practices. The vision of CMHHS is that “Homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. And, that every person has access to permanent, affordable housing and the resources to sustain it.” CMHHS Co-Chairs, Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer at Bank of America and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health, shared the following regarding the commitment to realizing the CMHHS vision:
“Although the road ahead will be challenging, we believe that our shared vision is achievable. And to fully realize this vision, we ask that each and every one of us fully lean into this commitment. Once the process is mapped, we will all have a clearly defined role in ensuring that every person, regardless of ZIP code or other circumstance, has not only a home, but a fighting chance at opportunity.”
Image by Rod Long
Every person helped is good, but such things are not as simple as putting refugee families into apartments and assisting them until they can find jobs. The saddest misconception is forgetting the atrocities American interference and invasion caused. The United States is disinclined to help the last rounds of domestic hurricane refugees. I was reading accounts of night raids an Collier’s Magazine this month (Sept. 2021) and I almost couldn’t get through it. Our government and military are populated by war criminals and few are called to account. Young American soldiers were expected to obey orders, and were permanently damaged by their own acts, even if they weren’t crippled or slaughtered.
Today signified the Day of Atonement (after Yom Kippor, a new year, time to ask forgiveness), but it is a rare attitude where powerful people admit crimes and mistakes. Forty million Afghans is a magnitude beyond the wealth and will of the USA, with hundreds of climate refugees and losers of native homes soon to follow. In no way are we prepared or preparing for what is inevitable. It would be acceptable to share with new arrivals if we admit the causes and demand accountability from our economic and cultural system. This is a plethora of injustice that can not be fixed, maybe not even mitigated. To be satisfied with token gestures is to become as perverse as President Andrew Jackson who adopted and trained several Native American children after leading massacres. Let’s not be like that. How can we teach the Shoah if we are blind to recent shames?