News and Events

Fall 2019: Racial Equity Series: Supporting Refugee & Immigrant Communities: Session 1 – Lay of the Land

POSTED ON October 11, 2019
by Hikma Sherka

In the spring of 2017, YDEKC launched its first Racial Equity Community of Practice to offer an opportunity for members who were working to embed Racial Equity Policy, Practice and Programming in their organizations to come together and learn from one another. Our first Community of Practice ran through June 2018. In 2019, YDEKC is working to continue to embed conversations and actions focused on racial equity within all of our work, and providing a conversation series to members focused on issues raised through the first community of practice.

This fall, our 3 part Racial Equity in the Youth Development Field conversation series is focused on supporting refugee and immigrant communities. The purpose of these conversations is for YDEKC members to increase awareness, intention and action around issues of inequity within youth serving organizations and the young people and communities we serve.

The first session of the 3-part series on September 26th, 2019 was focused on understanding the current reality and impact of the current administration’s policies and practices. Facilitated by YDEKC’s Hikma Sherka, we started the event with a panel discussion on the current “lay of the land”. Panelists included José Manuel Vasquez of Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Risho Sapano of Mother Africa, and Max Gibbs from Washington State’s Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance.

The panelists highlighted topics like Census 2020, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Sensitive Locations, and the rules change around “Public Charge.” Following the panel, attendees identified the topics they felt were most critical. Family engagement, youth civic engagement and resource identification were the themes that people gravitated to, with the desire to explore taking action in supporting the young people they serve.

With the overwhelming amount of information on the internet and various news sources, it is difficult to keep up with what is happening. The session was packed with resources that make it easier to mitigate misinformation as things are changing quickly. We have compiled a number of the resources shared for you in this post below.

Public Charge Rules Change (related to public benefits):

Local organization resources:

Census 2020:

National Resources:


RSVP here for one or both of the remaining sessions!

  • Session 2, October 24th, 10:00AM-12:30PM – Organizational Policy and Practice: What can your organization do to better support the refugee and immigrant young people and families you serve, your staff, and your community. This session will focus on organizational policy and protocols to create more inclusive and supportive environments.
  • Session 3, November 21st, 10:00AM-12:30PM – Collaboration and Partnership: How can we strengthen collaboration between youth serving organizations that explicitly focus on refugee and immigrant youth, and those that include refugee and immigrant youth in broader programming? This session will be an opportunity to build relationships and connection across organizations.

Space is limited. Sessions will be held in Kent.