Member Briefing: Understanding Minnesota's Refugee Resettlement Consortium

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 2:00pm - 3:30pm CDT

Join award winning Hmong-American writer, Kao Kalia Yang; GHR Foundation Program Associate, Cassie Bean; and leaders from Minnesota’s refugee resettlement agencies for a conversation about the policies and capacity shaping Minnesota’s refugee resettlement community in 2021.

Until 2017, the U.S. resettled more refugees each year than the rest of the world combined-- more than 3 million since 1975. Last year, U.S. annual refugee admissions dropped to 11,814, the lowest in the history of the program. This presents unique challenges for Minnesota’s five resettlement agencies as they rebuild their capacity to welcome the expected 125,000 admissions ceiling for fiscal year 2022 pledged from the Biden administration on October 1, 2021.  

Leaders from Minnesota’s five resettlement agencies – Arrive Ministries, Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota, Lutheran Social Services, International Institute of Minnesota and Minnesota Council of Churches – work collaboratively to address the needs of Minnesota’s newest Americans across the state. This session is a conversation with those leaders at this unique time in the program’s history. Cassie Bean will facilitate the discussion. Questions from the audience are encouraged.

To open the session, Kao Kalia Yang will share readings and insights from her latest work, Somewhere in the Unknown World, a compilation of the stories and voices of refugees who call Minnesota home.

[Note the Correct Time Above, April 27, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.]

Learning objectives

  • Participants will understand how Minnesota’s nonprofit resettlement consortium works together and with other systems and entities including state and county government agencies
  • Participants will understand what’s on the horizon under the new Biden administration with refugees/immigrants and where funding opportunities exists
  • Participants will understand how supporting immigrants/refugees speaks to equity advancement

Presenters and Hosts:

  • Cassie Bean, Program Associate, GHR Foundation and Board Member, International Institute of Minnesota
  • Kao Kalia Yang, Author, Public Speaker and Teacher


  • Yusuf Abdi, Sr. Director of Refugee Services, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
  • Krista Allgor, Direct Program Services Director, Arrive Ministries
  • John Meyers, Director of Refugee Resettlement, Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota
  • Micaela Schuneman, Director of Refugee Services, International Institute of Minnesota
  • Ben Walen, Refugee Services Division Director, Minnesota Council of Churches

This conversation is open to all MCF members interested in refugee resettlement services and policy. Log-in details will be provided in your confirmation email. If you have questions about this meeting, please contact Paul Masiarchin,

Find More By