Refugee and Immigrant Solidarity is popular education workshop designed to inform community members on how they can become good allies in the struggle for immigrant and refugee rights. Kayse Jama, an original founder of CIO, was born into a nomad family in Somalia. He left when the civil war erupted, and finally found sanctuary in Portland. From 2005 to 2007, he trained immigrant and refugee community leaders in five Western states—Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Idaho—under a prestigious New Voices Fellowship at Western States Center. He has been awarded the Skidmore Prize for outstanding young nonprofit professionals (2007), the Oregon Immigrant Achievement Award from Oregon chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (2008), and the 2009 Lowenstein Trust Award, which is presented yearly to “that person who demonstrated the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in Portland,” and the 2012 Portland Peace Prize.
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