U.S. Ukrainian refugee process focus of Oakwood forum Wednesday

The following article by Nick Blizzard appeared in the Dayton Daily News on June 27, 2022.

https://www.daytondailynews.com/local/us-ukrainian-refugee-process-focus-of-oakwood-forum-wednesday/47DLX6S6H5AT7J2DQNNFWPCOMM/


OAKWOOD — Issues about Ukraine refugees coming to the U.S. since Russia’s invasion of that country and how Dayton area residents can assist that effort will be part of a forum Wednesday.

The Oakwood Inclusion Coalition’s event at Wright Memorial Public Library will examine the U.S.’s new entry program for fleeing Ukrainians and local resettlement services, organizers said. “Our nation has been home and host to refugees for many centuries now,” OIC Chair Madeline Iseli said.


The aftermath of Russia’s February invasion “brings this issue to the forefront of our minds. So, it just seemed like an appropriate topic to cover. People are looking for ways to be more meaningfully involved in helping with this crisis,” Iseli said.


The 7 p.m. forum is set to include Sam Bain, the area representative for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, and Laura Roesch, CEO of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley.


Organizers said Bain will give an overview of the program for Ukrainians entering the U.S. and an update on Uniting for Ukraine, an initiative to provide its citizens who have fled opportunities to come to the U.S. Roesch will discuss resettlement programs in the Dayton area, organizers said.


CSS’s refugee resettlement program is the portal in the greater Dayton area for those fleeing other nations, according to that organization.


Newly arrived refugees in Dayton get services from CSS’s resettlement program for “placement in initial furnished housing, a cultural orientation overview, employment assistance and linkage to community resources,” including medical services, its website states. More than 4 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since the Feb. 24 invasion, the Center for Immigration Studies reported this spring. President Biden has said the U.S. would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, according to the New York Times. The OIC’s goal with the forum, Iseli said, is to help people “be aware of what is going on locally and what kinds of support could be given to this effort.


“Whether that’s a few dollars in a donation or household items or even hosting individuals or families – this I expect will cover a range of opportunities for citizens of the Greater Dayton community to be supportive,” she added.


HOW TO GO

•What: Oakwood Inclusion Coalition forum on the U.S.’s new entry program for fleeing Ukrainians.

•Where: Wright Memorial Public Library, 1776 Far Hills Ave.

•When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 29

•Other viewing options: A Zoom link and a recording of the event will be provided.