“The Minnesota Council of Churches expresses great concern that another black man has been killed by police in Minneapolis. Such acts traumatize entire communities and demand that we ask the question: do black lives matter in Minnesota? As people of faith and followers of Jesus, we call for full transparency in the investigation of this police killing. We call for more systems of accountability in policing statewide. We also join those envisioning alternative ways for addressing violence and providing safety in our communities.
While our CEO was on vacation, the director of MCC Refugee Services spoke at a press conference last week organized in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding the Trump administration’s Muslim ban. Here is his statement:
My name is Ben Walen, representing the Minnesota Council of Churches, where I direct the refugee resettlement programs.
What does it take to help individuals who recently arrived as refugees find their first jobs in Minnesota? To give you a better sense of what is involved on a day-to-day basis, we asked Refugee Services employment counselor Brittany Esau to take a few notes about some of the activities she does in an average week.
Briana may be new to our staff, but she’s not a new face in the Refugee Services Mankato office.
When a new-comer to Minnesota feels overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start, Remona can offer empathy and hope based on her own experience.
Recently-arrived Somali children dashed around the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota with excitement, finding new and imaginative exhibits to explore while their mothers found a much needed space to connect and build community in a new home.
MCC Refugee Services’ newest employee, Ahmed “Jaffer,” joined the Mankato team just two months ago. He brings a wealth of experience and a great sense of humor as he works to help those who came to our community as refugees find employment in Minnesota. I interviewed him to learn about what brought Jaffer to MCC Refugee Services and share the work he is doing in the Mankato area.
Do you remember when news of the Syrian refugee crisis dominated the news a few years ago? Refugee Services volunteer Aleisha does. She had recently left her work with victims of domestic violence to stay home with her son and was looking for a way to make a difference in her corner of the world. The news about refugee families fleeing resonated deeply with her and she was determined to do something. Traveling overseas to help wasn’t a possibility for her, so Aleisha found a way to be involved locally through MCC Refugee Services.