WIPPS announces New Neighbors Series

Public lectures series to cover recent newcomer arrival in Central Wisconsin

In 2022, Central Wisconsin welcomed more than 175 refugees from countries like Afghanistan, Congo, Syria and Burundi. In addition, an unknown number of immigrants arrived here seeking asylum from places such as Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The New Neighbors Series, featuring two public events, will examine the histories and political situations in the homelands of our new neighbors. We’ll also find out about their journeys to our area and learn what our communities can do to ease their transitions.

This series is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, Wisconsin Humanities, Ethiopian Community Development Council, and Wisconsin Public Radio. Both events are free and open to the public, registration is not required. These events will be live streamed on the WIPPS YouTube channel.

Forced Displacement – The View from 10,000 Feet

January 11, 7 p.m., UW Center for Civic Engagement, Veninga Theater

Dr. Neamat Nojumi – Dr. Nojumi served as a military commander and senior political officer for the Freedom Fighter Forces against the Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan. He went on to serve as a Senior Social Scientist and Senior Advisor to the U.S. government.

Bojana Zorić Martinez – Refugee Resettlement Coordinator for the state of Wisconsin and a former refugee herself, Zorić Martinez has been involved the resettlement of refugees in the state since 2017.

Welcoming Our New Neighbors

January 25, 7 p.m., UW Center for Civic Engagement, Veninga Theater

Join us for a panel discussion, moderated by WPR’s Shereen Siewert, featuring local people who have been involved with welcoming our new neighbors and helping them settle into life in Central Wisconsin. Panelists will include representatives from the Ethiopian Community Development Council, the local resettlement agency, members of sponsor groups and those familiar with the situations of undocumented immigrants.

To learn more, visit WIPPS.org.