Refugee children and teens who immigrate to the U.S. face unique challenges to their sense of belonging and mattering, particularly within the public school system.
Come hear firsthand accounts of some of those challenges and how one organization is empowering New American youth in their community to overcome those challenges, using practices of nonviolence, mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication, and more.
Ashraf Alamatouri is the English Language Learning Coordinator at Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program/ U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). He taught English at Kalamoon University and conducted teacher training courses in multiple regions in Syria. Previous to joining USCRI, Mr. Alamatouri was the Director of the Language Department at the International Center for Human Construction. Mr. Alamatouri is a Fulbright alumnus and holds a Master’s Degree in teaching English as a Foreign Language from Albath University as well as a Master’s Degree in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages from Saint Michael’s College. He holds a B.A in English Literature from Damascus University. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Educational Leadership at UVM. He is a father of three children, Ryan, Adam and Naya. He likes to play music and to cook in his free time.
Catherine Cadden is an educator, storyteller, and dancer with over 25 years of experience in bringing innovative programs in nonviolence, mindfulness, and conflict transformation to people of all ages, on six continents. In 1997, she founded the TEMBA School, a visionary K–8 academic programs which integrated nonviolent principles, mindfulness, art, and peace studies. In 2006, Catherine co-founded Play in the Wild! Initiations into Nonviolence for youth, families, and educators. Internationally recognized for her work, Catherine was a keynote speaker at the UNESCO Asia Pacific Education conference in 2012. Her work with her indigenous roots, elders, and teachers taught her to live interdependently with nature, which she shares with all who are willing to learn. She is a Center for Nonviolent Communication Certified Trainer and the author of Peaceable Revolution Through Education.