RRP is working on a new initiative called the Community Connection Collective, to improve the state infrastructure for welcoming and resettling refugees in Arizona. RRP is convening an effort to bring together compatible organizations that wish to join in an alliance toward this end. This project aspires to center the lived experiences of people arriving in Arizona as refugees as the primary change agents in their resettlement process through improving the way information and resources are shared collectively and defining common goals and related activities that increase social inclusion and empowerment of the people most impacted by resettlement. RRP will aim to engage up to ten organizations in the first phase of the project and anticipates building on the initial work throughout 2020 and beyond.
This monthly meeting included nine out of the 11 Cohort Organizations. This meeting we went over the topics discussed and reviewed in the September monthly meeting. The goals of this meeting was to educate the cohort on the federal guidelines which shape the refugee resettlement process in Arizona. This is to establish a baseline for further collective problem solving in order to address current gaps and challenges within the refugee resettlement community.
Due to COVID-19 the Year Two grounding sessions with the Community Connection Collective Cohort was postponed due to the needs and impact of the pandemic. The Year Two Kick off meeting was held in September with ten out of the 11 Cohort Organizations. The objective of this meeting was to have the cohort meet one another, develop Guiding Questions in order to maintain the CI Principles, reground in the goals of this initiative, and go over the next steps for the year.
The Year Two goals are:
For Year One of the Community Connection Collective (CCC) Initiative the goal was to coordinate diverse efforts and resources in order to positively improve refugee resettlement here in Arizona. This was done through developing the grounding of this project with the Collective Impact principles and an Equity and Inclusion framework. RRP also completed internal Equity and Inclusion training through Indigo Arizona. A cohort was also developed within the first year. A cohort of 11 various organizations combined of Resettlement Agencies, Ethnic Community-based Organizations, other Community Organizations, and Faith-based Organizations. Due to COVID-19 we were unable to begin grounding sessions with the Cohort as planned. However, the goal is to begin virtual meetings in Year Two.
Collective Impact Principles:
Importance of a CCC Cohort:
The Arizona State Refugee Resettlement Program and Indigo Arizona co-hosted a webinar on meaningful language access. Many refugee clients continually face challenges, barriers, and even discrimination due to language access. Being able to identify important policies that impact language access will allow us to better advocate and educate our refugee clients and partners. To see the powerpoint presented at this webinar and learn more, click here!
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