Community Conversation with

Local Refugees and Immigrants

Sunday, November 25 at 4pm   Congregational United Church of Christ

Refugees and Immigrants in our community tell their own stories of why and how they came to America and their experience of our country. There will be time for group conversations about the refugee experience and a chance to ask questions of the participants.

Diya Abdo is Associate Professor of English at Guilford College. Her scholarship focuses on Arab women writers and Arab and Islamic feminisms. She has published poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. A first generation Paelstinian, born and raised in Jordan, she is the founder and director of Every Campus A Refuge advocating for housing refugees on campus grounds and assisting them in resettlement. Thus far, Guilford College has hosted 42 refugees (23 of them children) from the Middle East and Africa and assisted them in resttlement in Greensboro. For her work on ECAR, Abdo was named a finalist in the Arab Hope Makers Award (2018) and has received service learning and civiv engagement in higher education awards.

Ali Al-Khasrachi and Marwa Azage came to the U.S. from Iraq in March of 2017. With their three young boys, they initially stayed on Guilford College’s campus through the Every Campus A Refuge program. Ali is an artist and calligraphist. You can read more about Ali’s artwork and the family’s story here.

Jennifer Nyirandikumana is 19 years old and is currently attending high school in Greensboro. She came with her family to the U.S. from Uganda in September 2017. They stayed on Guilford’s campus for a few months before moving to the apartments on Summit and Cone shortly before the fire that claimed 5 children’s lives in that complex occurred. Currently living in a new and safe location, you can read about her family’s story here.

Rev. Julie Peeples came to Congregational in late September of 1991, having served with
her husband, the Rev. Paul Davis, as chaplains for Habitat for Humanity International at
Habitat headquarters in Americus, Georgia. Her ministerial experience includes working with
homeless women in Boston, campus ministry at St. Vincent College near Pittsburgh, serving as a
Minister of Christian Education and Family Life in a large UCC church near Boston. She is a
driving force in immigration and social justice issues in Guilford County.

Abdoul Raoufou Ousmane came  from Central African Republic to Egypt when he was just 18 years old as refugee. After spending 17 years living and working in Egypt, Raouf was resettled to Greensboro this August. Raouf worked in Egypt with migrants and refugees for 9 years before coming here as  getting settle to USA as refugee. He worked with diverse community and in different fields as outreach, education coordinator and social worker.

Moises Serrano is an openly undocumented and queer activist and storyteller. Since coming out as undocumented in 2010 he has relentlessly pursued equality for his community through the sharing of his narrative. His mission is to de-criminalize and humanize the issue of migration while advocating for immediate relief to migrant communities. Moises quickly became one of the most requested speakers in the state of North Carolina. Described as a “consummate orator,” his advocacy has led him to lead a Tedx talk in Greensboro and to be named a notable Latino of the triad. Moises’ advocacy has been filmed in the feature length documentary, Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America. The five-time award winning film was recently honored by the Television Academy. Forbidden was one of seven programs honored for creating awareness, enlightening, educating and/or positively motivating audiences. Moises officially became a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in May of 2018.

Immigration Stories, a joint project of Scuppernong Books and the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, will explore the immigration and refugee experience in America through the lens of writing: fiction, non-fiction, and works for children. We’ll highlight the stories of the immigrant and refugee population as well as the issues, especially as they impact and affect the local community. Immigration Stories responds directly to these issues by providing the community with the opportunity to interact and engage in a series of public readings, panel discussions, and conversations with writers, scholars, and their neighbors. For more information, call 336-763-1919.

This project is made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.