US & NC Refugee Advocacy news

The Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and 

Human Rights ​Education of North Carolina 

Holocaust Speakers Bureau 

Top 5 Ways to Protect Refugees & Rebuild U.S. Resettlement Program

An unprecedented 68 million people, including 25 million refugees,

have been forced from their homes around the world.

This is the worst refugee crisis in history.

Learn more:

Refugees who we promised to protect are still awaiting safety, and families have been separated for years because of these drastic reductions. 

Together, we ask #WhereRtheRefugees? 


Additional information can be found here:

Take Action to Protect Immigrant Children

​Currently, administrative regulations are in jeopardy of being changed so that immigrant children and families could be indefinitely detained. The proposal would curtail minimum standards for how to care for children held in federal custody. It is a critical time to make our voices heard to oppose this proposal by the administration and to urge Congress to reject any proposal that fuels family separation and family incarceration.

Here are the top 3 ways to take action today:

  • Submit a Comment: Click here to register your opposition to the administration's proposal and stand up for immigrant children’s safety. On the right-hand side, please adapt the template language to share why you oppose the Trump administration’s new regulations to indefinitely detain children, lower standards of care in immigration jails, and remove legal protections from minors seeking safety in the U.S.

  • Share on Social Media: Click here to join today's digital day of action to help drive public comments opposing the Trump administration’s proposed regulations. Additional graphics are available here. Follow the conversation with the hashtag #StopFamilyDetention.

  • Call Congress: Click here to tell Congress to oppose the expansion of family incarceration and reject the administration's proposal to indefinitely detain children. Instead, Congress should pressure the administration to reunify separated families and end "zero tolerance" policies and invest in community-based alternatives to detention like the Family Case Management Program.

Please check out for more information. Please share this information widely.

In solidarity,
Jen Smyers, Director of Policy & Advocacy
Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service


Refugee Support Center 

The Refugee Support Center (RSC) is a 501(c)3, volunteer-based organization established to facilitate the transition of local North Carolina refugees to a new life in our community by providing them services, helping them access resources, and developing their skills to promote self-sufficiency. Annually RSC serves approximately 1000 refugees, primarily from Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria. Most of those served live in Orange County, but refugees from surrounding counties can seek assistance on a case-by-case basis.

Interpretation is available either by phone or in person. We have interpreters who speak Arabic, Burmese, French, Karen, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili.

Not all interpreters are available during all office hours, so calling for an appointment for Arabic or Swahili is advised.

The organization was founded in July 2012. It was the recipient of the 2016 NC Peace Prize. Flicka Bateman is the Director.

More information is available here:​

The most typical way people volunteer is through direct tutoring, but the possibilities are many.
If you are interested in being a tutor or another type of direct services volunteer, please fill out an application.

Please note that if you are interested in tutoring, we ask for a one hour a week and one-year commitment (excluding summers for students).


  • Provide homework support and English practice to school age students in their homes
  • Tutor refugee adults for the citizenship exam
  • Tutor English to adults


  • Provide transportation for refugees to appointments and agencies
  • Be an office assistant to help refugee clients in the office for a variety of services
  • Serve as a mentor for one family in the phase between being newly arrived and achieving self-sufficiency
  • Teach the DMV manual to individuals or small groups who need to pass their Learner’s Permit

Visit the RSC website to get involved:

8/22/21, A Note from the Director

Volunteers/Friends of the Refugee Support Center,

The crisis in Afghanistan has unsettled and saddened us all. Tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the U.S. as interpreters, engineers, security guards, embassy personnel, and cultural advisors (as a group called “allies”) remain in danger in Afghanistan. The fear is these courageous and loyal people will be abandoned to the Taliban.

The Administration so far has evacuated 1,200 Afghan allies to Fort Lee, VA where they are being screened. Following that, they will be assigned to one of seven resettlement agencies for permanent resettlement in our country, Resettlement agencies are organizations who have contractual agreements with the Department of State to provide reception, placement and transitional services to newly arrived refugees. These agencies have representatives at Fort Lee assisting with processing our Afghan friends and setting the stage for their eventual resettlement in local communities throughout the US, including the Triangle.

Locally, these agencies are: Church World Service (CWS) and World Relief in Durham; US Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), and Lutheran Services Carolinas in Raleigh. Because RSC is not such an agency, we are not involved with the initial placement of new arrivals, although we partner with these agencies to provide certain services.

Thank you to those of you who have contacted us about how to help. There are several ways at this time:

Make a financial contribution to one of these four local agencies to assist with housing and other needs for Afghans when they do arrive in our communities.

CWS                                          Lutheran Carolinas      

                                  USCRI              World Relief   
Consider sponsoring a newly arrived family. If you are interested,click here to complete a form. Or to learn more about sponsoring a family, contact one of the above agencies.

Urge Congress and the Administration to immediately evacuate all of our allies and their families to safety. Here’s a link from CWS for details.  Take Action: Urge the Administration to Expand Refugee Protections for Afghans Fleeing Violence and Persecution | CWS

The 08/18/21 edition of The News and Observer had an excellent article on how local resettlement agencies are preparing for Afghan arrivals. It has contact information for the two agencies in Durham.

Finally, RSC is working with an Afghan family who has been here several years on a SIV (Special Immigrant Visa.)  The father was an interpreter for US troops but was exposed to the Taliban by neighbors and had to leave quickly with his wife and children. He is trying to get his parents out of Kabul and asked for help. We are committed to reciprocating his loyalty to our country by doing all we can to stand by him and assist in the process.

Thank you for caring about refugees in our community and for those who will soon be joining our community. 

Flicka Bateman, Director Refugee Support Center

8/8/21, THANK YOU! 

Volunteers/Friends of the Refugee Support Center,

We’ve had a tremendous outpouring of support for our school supply drive this year due to your generosity. Thank you.  The collection’s spectacular success has meant we’re in the process of distributing supply-filled backpacks to 344 refugee kids from Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Rwanda and Syria.  We’ve surpassed our target number of 321 backpacks and are sure to have enough to cover any new kids throughout the year.

As with almost all successes, nothing happens because of one individual. We have many to thank for this. Immense gratitude goes to Allison Worthy and The Chapel of the Cross for heading up the community-wide collection drive.  which produced hundreds and hundreds of items from an Amazon Wishlist and for holding a drop off event. In addition, Allison opened up her home for Operation Backpacks, storing mountains of boxes for weeks; and, in the end, hosting a fleet of volunteers to set up an assembly line to fill all backpacks in one day.   Thank you to these volunteers, primarily refugees themselves.

Much thanks to our faith communities: Binkley Baptist Church, Chapel Hill Kehillah, University Baptist Church, University Presbyterian Church, and United Church for promoting our drive with their congregations.

Finally, a thank you to all of you who contributed needed items, donated funds to purchase supplies, and wrote responses of encouragement. You continue to be the backbone of our organization and what we are able to accomplish throughout the year.

Parents and kids thanked us over and over. One newly-arrived parent said, “No one has ever given us anything like this. Ever!” A 6-year-old boy exclaimed, “These are the nicest things I’ve ever had. I want to put my body in my backpack and live there because everything is so new and so good.”  Another asked, “Is all of this really just for me?” Another response was, “Now I will do well in school. I am ready.”

I think we all believe in the importance of kids starting off a new school year on the right foot the very first day. Having brand new backpacks and supplies gives our refugee kids confidence and pride. Thank you for making that confidence and pride possible.

Thank you,
Flicka Bateman, Director Refugee Support Center


Burmese Refugee Project

Beth El Congregation in Durham is a partner in an effort to support the family of a prominent Burmese human rights activist.  The family has been under threat by the brutal military regime responsible for the coup in Myanmar. The U.S. State Department is working with individuals targeted by the military regime in Myanmar to provide support for their brave work and to protect those at risk by issuing a special visa under a process that is used only for extreme emergencies. The husband has made the heart-wrenching decision to remain in Myanmar to try to continue to fight for a free country. The rest of the family received their visas and arrived at RDU on July 4th! They have temporary housing for three months as well as health care provided by Samaritan Health Center. They will need permanent affordable housing beginning in October, and suggestions for housing are welcomed. Contact Beth El member Evelina Moulder: for more information.