DATE & TIME
Start Date & Time-
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
In recognition of World Refugee Day and in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, this event will feature stores from a variety of perspectives in the refugee realm.
Bear witness to the trials and triumphs of refugees through the lens of Nga Vương-Sandoval, a resettled refugee from Việt Nam; hear first-hand accounts of the state of the global refugee crisis and UNHCR’s life-saving work by Jana Mason, UNHCR Senior External Relations Advisor in the United States; and be inspired by a UNA-USA advocate on how to support resettled refugees in your own community. Audience members will have the opportunity to pose questions to each of the storytellers during the Q&A session.
Nga Vương-Sandoval, Refugee Congress Delegate for Colorado
Nga Vương-Sandoval and her family fled their homeland due to the Việt Nam War and became refugees. They were displaced in refugee camps before resettling in the U.S. and were known as the “boat people.”
Vương-Sandoval currently serves as an Investigator at the Colorado Department of Law. Her prior professional experience has included serving at the state homeland security office and specialized in counterintelligence and counterterrorism, as well as serving as adjunct faculty at two universities.
As a Việtnamese refugee, Vương-Sandoval embraces her heritage and refugee experience and is empathetic to the plight and struggle of other underrepresented and marginalized communities. She is active in a number of advocacy roles, including being the Refugee Congress Delegate for Colorado, a TEDx Presenter with her talk “Assimilation is Colonization”, a founding member and public speaker with Colorado Refugee Speakers Bureau, the first refugee elected to Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains Board of Directors and Vice-Chair of the Program Services Committee, a Noble Ambassador for Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, an advisory member for Denver’s Little Sài Gòn Redevelopment Group and an advisory member to the Denver Elections Advisory Committee. She previously served as a Commissioner with Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission.
Nga was honored with a mural by iconic artist and muralist I Am Detour (Thomas Evans) in the historic Five Points District. She was recognized as “Five Inspiring Refugee Women” for International Women’s Day by USA for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She was named as “100 Asians that You need to Know” by Asian Avenue Magazine. Nga recently met with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden where she advocated to raise the Presidential Determination for refugee admissions.
Jana Mason, UNHCR Senior External Relations Advisor
Jana Mason is Senior External Relations Advisor at the Washington, D.C. office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR—the UN Refugee Agency). She oversees the office’s work in representing UNHCR’s interests with the U.S. government—including the State Department and Congress—and with nongovernmental organizations. Prior to joining UNHCR in 2008, Jana was Director of Government Relations and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She was previously with the U.S. Committee for Refugees for 11 years, where she served as policy analyst for the Asia/Pacific region and advocated for refugee protection and assistance. During this time, she assessed refugee and asylum situations in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, China, and elsewhere. Jana has worked in the refugee arena since 1983, which included a position as assistant director of refugee programs for the State of Virginia. She has a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a law degree from Georgetown University.
Linda Abramson Evans, Refugee Community Volunteer
Linda Abramson Evans is a member of UNA-USA and the Dallas Chapter, and has served as a community volunteer for more than 30 years with interests in human rights, social justice, intercultural, interfaith, and arts activities. As founder of the Volunteer Guide & Directory to Refugee Service Agencies in Dallas/Ft. Worth, she facilitates support for local agencies and fosters appreciation for the contributions that refugees make to the community. She partners with resettlement agency Advisory Councils, assists with World Refugee Day and other events, and enjoys mentoring newcomers to refugee advocacy.
With fellow Task Force members of the Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities & Immigrant Affairs, Linda was involved in development of the Welcoming Dallas Strategic Plan, which was adopted by Dallas City Council on October 24, 2018. She also serves on the Interfaith Council and Faith Forward Dallas of the Thanks-Giving Foundation/Thanks-Giving Square, among other affiliations.
In her professional life, Linda teaches advanced American English Communication Skills for international students at Southern Methodist University, and for clients as an independent practitioner.
As BWC’s Director of Advocacy and Humanitarian Affairs, Micah engages with the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch, NGOs, and grassroots advocates to strengthen American political and financial support for the UN’s lifesaving work around the world. In addition to his advocacy efforts in Washington and New York, Micah has extensive field experience, helping organize and lead independent fact-finding missions to observe UN peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in Haiti, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Mali, Niger, Lebanon, and more.
Micah joined BWC in 2013 after serving as a Field Director on Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Based in South Florida during the general election cycle, Micah managed a joint Romney-RNC Victory Field Office and led a team of more than 300 volunteers, interns, and staff responsible for voter mobilization operations across the state’s second largest county.
Micah graduated magna cum laude from Johns Hopkins University with an M.A. in government, received an honors B.A. in political science and philosophy from Roosevelt University, and studied Mandarin Chinese at National Taiwan University. His writing has appeared in CNN, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, The Mail & Guardian, The National Interest, Defense One, Roll Call, The Hill, and more. He lives with his wife Jill Nguyen in Washington, DC.