Session Spotlight

Tuesday, October 24th   1:40 – 5:00 pm

Challenges for Immigrants and Refugees Today

Presented by Dawn Berney, MPA, CNAP, Fabiola Hamdan, MSSW, Yang Sao Xiong, PhD

This expert panel will examine challenges faced by immigrants and refugees and the agencies serving them, in Wisconsin today. More specifically the panel will focus on their work with Syrian refugees, Hmong-Americans and undocumented immigrants.

BerneywebWhile Refugee Resettlement has a long tradition in Madison, the political climate can make the work more challenging. Beginning in December 2016 Jewish Social Services began to resettle 50 refugees in Madison. This is in addition to the 100+ refugees being resettled by Lutheran Social Services and other community based organizations. Providing core services such as housing and clothing, finding jobs and child care, coordinating support and promoting independence and safety continues to be a challenge. But the partnerships that already exist, combined with new partnerships are giving us hope that our newest families will succeed. – Dawn Berney, MPA, CNAP


HamdanwebImmigrant families and families who are undocumented are currently in crisis. She will be presenting a perspective of immigrant families and families who are undocumented. Facing national and local anti-immigration sentiment, many families fear that interactions with human resources or services might lead to interaction with ICE. As these families sink into poverty, experience homelessness, are victims of micro-aggressions, stop sending children to school, or struggle with untreated health conditions, the likelihood of finding assistance decreases and many organizations and agencies are unable to provide needed services to this population. – Fabiola Hamdan, MSSW


XiongwebHmong Americans comprise the largest Asian American group in the state of Wisconsin. I will provide a brief overview of Hmong’s immigration to the U.S. before discussing some of the old problems and issues that Hmong former refugees faced and some of the more recent challenges that they continue to experience. These challenges include poverty, residential segregation, underrepresentation, misrepresentation, hate crimes, racism, and other kinds of discrimination against Hmong. These conditions are especially harmful to the physical and emotional wellbeing of Hmong veterans, older or disabled adults, and children. – Yang Sao Xiong, PhD




Conference Brochure (.pdf)

Conference Schedule

Session Descriptions

The Presenters

Conference Pricing

Venue Information/Policies

The Exhibitors


Interested in Exhibiting at the ConferenceWe have opportunities for you!