Monday’s Forum Speaker Series included a national anthem performance by Miss Oregon 2019 Shivali Kadam, Victoria Shinn receiving the Spirit of Salem Award, and hearing from our featured speakers Co-Directors of Salem For Refugees, Anya and Doug Holcomb.
The Spirit of Salem Award Goes To…
This Forum’s Spirit of Salem Award recipient is Victoria Shinn, Vice President and Depository Relationship Manager of U.S. Bank. Shinn is a noted cancer survivor and ever-present beacon of hope for those facing various health challenges. Both resilient and engaged in our community, Shinn has been an active volunteer in numerous community initiatives which have greatly impacted Salem.
In her acceptance speech, Shinn shared her journey to recovery was a result of community support and coming together. Shinn also expressed with community, nothing is impossible. At the conclusion of Shinn’s address, the audience recognized her with a standing ovation.
Welcoming Our New Neighbors
The UN Refugee Agency states that 70.8 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide today. The United States participates in providing homes for displaced refugees
Our Featured Speakers were Anya and Doug Holcomb, Co-Directors of Salem For Refugees.
Salem For Refugees is a growing network of community members, businesses, government organizations, non-profits, resettlement agencies, and faith communities who are committed to empowering refugees to thrive in Salem. Founded in October of 2016 by a collaboration effort headed by the Salem Leadership Foundation, the goal was to gather together different groups and organizations to aid incoming refugees with resettlement to the Salem/Keizer area due to rising housing costs in Portland.
Setting Up for Success
Salem For Refugees offers many resources to help incoming community members settle in. Resource teams include transportation, healthcare, legal, employment, financial, education, housing, welcome home (a group that sets up homes with household items), meals and technology resource teams. Additionally, mentor teams are assigned to assist with resettlement and interpretive services are available.
Since it’s inception, over 300 refugees from twelve different countries have been resettled in Salem/Keizer. The addition of these individuals and families benefits Salem greatly with their diverse cultural backgrounds, global perspective, hospitality, skills, work ethic and innovation.
There are many ways to take action in participating in welcoming our new neighbors. To learn more, visit www.salemforrefugees.org.
Did you miss November’s Forum?
November’s Forum Speaker Series will be available for viewing on CCTV Channel 21 at the following times: