Blog → April 17, 2023

Invisible Barriers to Belonging: Their Story is Our Story Presents at the 2023 Idaho Conference on Refugees

TSOS Invisible Barriers to Integration

Their Story is Our Story (TSOS) was pleased to present at the 2023 Idaho Conference on Refugees held at Boise State University on February 22-23. In alignment with the conference theme Creating Connections, our TSOS team addressed three significant invisible barriers that we consistently encounter in our work and invited audience members to think about how local community members might leverage their inter- and intra- connections to help Forcibly Displaced Persons overcome invisible barriers so they might achieve an equal footing in society.

TSOS Invisible Barriers to Integration 1
Three of the invisible barriers that refugees face when attempting to integrate into a new community.

According to Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise is “a city committed to welcome” with goals emphasizing accessibility for language services, culturally appropriate care, expanded liaisons with police, diversity through community events, and access to books and media, especially in schools.

The conference hosted over 600 attendees who are dedicated to the cause of creating connected communities ranging from resettlement workers, college students and faculty, volunteers, K-12 educators, health care & social workers, counselors, employers, and New American professionals. Over the two days we found many opportunities to exchange best practices and collaborate with others who are doing expansive work in integrating newcomers.

Workshop attendees

Overall, the conference reaffirmed to us that refugee stories and the work TSOS is engaged in is having an impact and we thank Boise State University and the Idaho Office for Refugees for putting on a meaningful two-day event.

Brandi Kilmer Director of Community Programs
From left to right, Brandi Kilmer (Director of Community Programs), Kristen Dayley (Executive Director), Arbay Mberwa (Changemaker President at Boise State University), and Hanna Suman (IRC Housing Specialist)

Review the Slides We Presented

Invisible Barriers to Integration (6.868 MB .pdf) Download

If you would like to help create welcome in Idaho or another location, consider volunteering with one of our partner organizations linked within our Community Programs near you.

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