What exactly is a refugee? How do they get to the United States? Are they screened and vetted? What services do they receive when they get here? Why should I care?
Holly Johnson will answer all of these questions when she addresses the hot-button issue of refugee resettlement in Tennessee at the next Lunch with the League. The program will be held on Tuesday, October 18, at noon in the Social Hall of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, which is located at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike. The community is invited to attend.
Lunch with the League is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge.
Johnson serves as the state refugee coordinator in the Office for Refugees of Catholic Charities of Tennessee. She will give an overview of the program from the time refugees flee their country until the point at which they are self-sufficient. She will address the questions that have been on the news and in the minds of Tennesseans over the past few years, a press release said.
She also plans to discuss actions taken by the Tennessee Legislature in the past to stop resettlement in the state and give information on the current state of affairs.
A native of McLean, Virginia, Johnson attended Elon College in North Carolina and earned a double major in political science and public administration. She then spent several years in West Jefferson, North Carolina, as the first executive director of the Ashe County Partnership for Children, a North Carolina initiative to ensure children enter school healthy and ready to learn.
In May 2006, Johnson received her masterâ€™s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. In April 2008, she was named state refugee coordinator for the Tennessee Office for Refugees.
Lunch with the League is open to the public. There is no cost to attend, and reservations are not needed. Box lunches will be available starting at 11:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis for $8, or you may bring your own. Coffee and tea are provided.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This pressÂ release was submitted by Maureen Hoyt.