The TEDxOmaha 2018 theme was Time to Engage, and the last talk in the first half of the event in October was Lacey Studnicka, with a really thought provoking talk called “Meet One: The Power of Welcoming Refugees” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4oGfJvggFo&t=101s
Lacey has been welcoming refugees for seventeen years, and in her talk she points out that you don’t choose to flee your country, your home, and undertake highly perilous journeys unless you are forced to do so. However, some people do have a choice. Those people you may be surprised to hear is all of us, and our choice is, how we welcome our new neighbors. Lacey really challenges all of us to reframe how we see individuals from other communities, and to take the first step; go and talk to and meet a refugee, and be transformed.
For those who don’t know Lacey she has dedicated many years to fostering an inclusive and welcoming community for refugees in the United States. She oversees programs from volunteer management, faith community sponsorships, career mentoring, refugee arts programming, and creating a refugee speakers’ bureau, and the refugee co-sponsorship program and volunteer program that has gained national recognition as a best practice model for church and community engagement. A champion of the most vulnerable in our community, her impassioned advocacy for refugees has led to her being profiled for local, national, and international media, most recently by PBS and NBC. To learn more about Lacey, check her bio on our website.
What did you think of Lacey’s talk? Welcome and connection is such a critical part of building community. This is one of the Ideas Worth Spreading that we will be continuing to explore over the next 12 months as part of our “Time to Engage in…” conversations. So, what did you learn, who needs to be at the table talking about this and who needs to be part of the discussion. What else do we need to be talking about?