Vol. 7, No. 7 August 2017
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Liberty Flight Campaign Takes Off!
Supporting refugee resettlement at IISTL
Syrian refugee family arrives at Lambert International Airport after a long and grueling flight for themselves and their tiny children. Photo by Wayne Crosslin/International Institute
The International Institute has launched the Liberty Flight Campaign to provide essential underwriting support for our refugee resettlement services. The on-line campaign's goal is approximately $40,000.
"Although there is currently a refugee travel ban in place, we still have refugees who require resettlement assistance," said Anna Crosslin, Institute CEO. "Between January and the implementation of the ban, we have sponsored 355 refugees from Nepal, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and the Congo (DRC)."
Agencies like the International Institute receive a modest per capita grant to assist with refugee resettlement. In addition to housing, transportation and food for the newcomers, the grant also helps to underwrite resettlement staff. These staff take refugees to medical appointments, provide community orientation, organize volunteer support, and otherwise ease the transition for newcomers for many months after their arrival.
"Since virtually no new refugees are currently being resettled, the resettlement grants have been cancelled," said Crosslin. "So we are seeking support to help continue our work with new arrivals during the 120-day ban period."
The support of the community is vital if we are to continue to quickly  integrate newcomers into the St. Louis region. Make your donation today!
Tax-deductible donations can be made by clicking here.
Festival of Nations Just Around the Corner!
Exploring ethnic St. Louis through dance, music and food
Burmese refugee troupe performs at annual Festival of Nations. Photo by Roger Popwell/International Institute
2017 Festival of Nations debuts on August 26 and 27 in shady Tower Grove Park in South St. Louis. The festival, now in its 17th year, attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually from 100 zip codes. There is no admission charge for this family-friendly outdoor event.
Produced by the International Institute, the festival features three stages with non-stop entertainment. Traditional performance troupes from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa are among the crowd favorites.
"We also make a point of seeking artists whose roots are in American traditions, including clogging and gospel," said Anna Crosslin, Institute CEO and Festival Director.
More than 40 food booths will sell mouth-watering ethnic food - some new to St. Louis palates. For instance, new this year, enjoy the savory flavors of Ugandan, Laotian, and Bolivian food. Wash it down with a soft drink or specialty beer!
IISTL & Jewish Community Host Summer Camp
Creating a welcoming environment for refugee children
Excited refugee child hears his own heartbeat. Photo by Wayne Crosslin/International Institute
A new and more spacious facility plus a groundswell of Jewish community support has enabled the re-launch of a summer camp for newly arrived refugee children.
"This spring, several members of the Jewish community who were already volunteering approached us seeking more to do," said Anna Crosslin, IISTL President & CEO. "I recollected the many years when we operated a summer camp and suggested they collaborate with us to host one again this summer."
"The rest - shall we say - is history!" she exclaimed as she glanced around the high-energy summer camp, which has not only entertained but has actually been preparing children for school in the fall. 
IISTL Board Members Elected
Engaging more volunteers in our mission
On July 19, the Board of Directors elected two new members: Christina Lawrence, VP/Managing Director of Shopper Marketing for Nestle Purina Petcare; and Dr. Frances Pestello, Professor of Sociology at St. Louis University and wife of Dr. Fred Pestello, SLU President. 
Christina and Fran are filling unexpired terms in the class of 2019. We welcome them to the Board and the work of the Institute!
Upcoming Events
United in Goodness
July 1 - September 4; Pi Pizzeria (all locations)
A percentage of all sales from their new internationally inspired items from Chef Cary McDowell will benefit the International Institute and PROMO. Click here for more information.

Civics & Civility: Religion & the Immigrant Experience
August 3, 5:30 - 7:30 pm; Cortex Innovation Community 
Anna Crosslin is panelist at this FOCUS STL presentation hosted at CORTEX. No admission, but registration is required.

International Institute's Festival of Nations
August 26 - 27; Tower Grove Park (Grand & Arsenal)
Gather with more than 140,000 visitors for two days of non-stop ethnic music, dance and the most diverse array of food in town. Admission is free! Click here for more information or to volunteer.

IISTL Speakers Bureau Recruitment
September 13, at 6-7 pm;  IISTL  
Do you enjoy speaking in public? Join the IISTL Speakers Bureau. We are recruiting individuals who are passionate about our mission and are available to speak at community meetings or gatherings. Will train.

National Welcoming Week
September 15 - 24
During this annual series of events, communities bring together immigrants and U.S.-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone - including new Americans. Click here for more info. 

Tours of IISTL
Last Wednesday monthly, 10 am
Click here for reservation form. Group tours for more than five visitors can be arranged at other times with advance notice, also by using the form.
Other News
International Institute's Oral History Project Debuts
Refugee and immigrant oral histories reflect experiences and challenges encountered while acclimating to a new life in the United States. Click here to learn more.

Rent event spaces at IISTL
Need a space to hold a small meeting or a large event? We may have what you want! For rates and room sizes, please visit our rental page.

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