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Wausau committee hears presentation on refugee resettlement

Liberation and Freedom Committee heard plans on process from Ethiopian Community Development Council
Liberation and Freedom Committee heard plans on process from Ethiopian Community Development...
Liberation and Freedom Committee heard plans on process from Ethiopian Community Development Council(WSAW)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Members of the City of Wausau’s Liberation and Freedom Committee received a presentation from the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) Wednesday. The topic addressed refugee resettlement processes as Wausau prepares to take in refugees.

The ECDC is helping resettle 3,100 Afghan refugees, with Wausau being one of the sites. ECDC Community Engagement and Communications Officer Emily Gilkinson gave the presentation. She says it’s important to remember why they’re here.

“They are people who have been forced to leave their country to escape war and persecution,” said Gilkinson.

Gilkinson said that around 10 refugees could be arriving in Wausau before the end of 2021, but most will arrive in early 2022. She also addressed the recruitment for the new Multicultural Community Center in Wausau, which will be an instrumental tool to helping refugees get acclimated to the area.

Committee Chairman Tom Kilian pointed to the Hmong community in Wausau as a reason to be excited about welcoming new backgrounds to the community.

“They are just an extremely component of our community now and I think we can learn from our history that the present and the future hold similar experiences,” said Kilian.

The committee also discussed plans for the committee moving forward. This was the first meeting since March and the members are ready for a return to action.

“I think committee members are ready for action after a period of inaction,” said Kilian. “We want to interface with the public to get their feedback. I think this is a very positive and exciting step.”

The committee expressed interest to connect with the diverse communities within Wausau with an event in the near future.

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