In Logan, Utah – about 1-1/2 hours outside Salt Lake City – a group of caring residents became aware that refugees in the relatively sparsely populated Cache Valley were mostly fending for themselves, drawn to the community by opportunities to work in the local meatpacking plant. Cache Refugee & Immigrant Connection (CRIC) was formed by a group of volunteers who wanted to help their new neighbors and hoped to build understanding and friendships among refugees and valley residents. 

CRIC volunteers make presentations before civic groups, churches, schools and Utah State University. They also provide opportunities where refugees can share their experiences with others, which is raising awareness and creating a more welcoming attitude toward refugees. Already, refugees and community members are learning each other’s names and beginning to develop longer-term relationships as they explore the richness and diversity of each other’s cultures.

At a Martin Luther King Jr. event, refugee experiences were connected to the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The event included an interfaith choir, a speaker who gave a tribute to Nelson Mandela, two refugee speakers and a speaker from the local English learning center.  Both refugees and community members reported that they left the event with a new understanding and a greater openness toward one another.

Nelda Ault

Cache Refugee & Immigrant Connection

Founding member

[email protected]

www.criconnection.wix.com/cric

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