Community Forum Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    Press Release


Gabe Hamda


Phone: (904)382-5471


Tebabu Assefa


Phone: (301) 802-2812


Building Community Resilience for Uncertain Future in the USA and in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian-American community is holding a series of forums to create awareness and build community resilience.

Alexandria, VA – December 2, 216 – Community and business leaders in the Ethiopian American community in Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland, are organizing the second community forums on Saturday, December 10, 2017, 3 pm to 6pm, at the Lincolnia Senior Center, 4710 N. Chambliss Street, Alexandria, VA, as a follow up to the forum held on November 26, at the Sholla IT Training Center in Silver Spring MD.

The forum is designed and conducted to create awareness, empower and build resilience for Ethiopian-American community who are very concerned about the anti-immigrant political discourses ensued during the U.S. presidential campaign and the post election policy shift, uncertainties, and worries. The Ethiopian-American community is also concerned about potential further instability in Ethiopia; Fear of their families in Ethiopia being under the risk of arrest and extra judicial killings; the Ethiopian ruling party sympathizers fear their families and properties may be in jeopardy.

The workshops include: managing change, giving back to community service, success stories of civic activism, managing stress and anxiety during uncertain times, civic engagement, mixing technology and proverbs to advance civic advocacy. The 3-hour forum is uniquely designed by training facilitation experts to be fully interactive, where the audience members play active part in the forum.

Samplings of quotes from the panelists: Dr. Assegid Habtewold, presenter on managing change said “Understanding the phases of change (ending, the neutral zone, the new beginning) and what to do during each phase enables our community’s leaders & our people to make smooth transition, overcome anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and tap into the possibilities & opportunities that may come with the change we are experiencing here in the US & back home in Ethiopia.” Mr. Kone Fseha, presenter on history activism in social change, said “If we don’t know the history of social movements then we miss the next big social movement. It takes one to start a social movement. The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of history. Gabe Hamda, presenter of giving back to community and event chair, said “expected outcomes for the Ethiopian-American community in the region is that it will feel like a victor and not a victim and will live by faith and not by fear.” A sampling of participant responses from the first forum included, “I will start volunteering in community activism.” “I will transform myself.” “I will use breathing techniques to better manage stress.” “I will be actively giving back to my community.”

The forum organizers are: Dr. Assegid Habtewold of PRO Leadership; Mr. Tebabu Assefa of US-Africa Diaspora Business Council, Dr. Gabe Hamda of 21st Century Community; Dr. Lishan Kassa of Live & Learn Wholestic Health Services; Mr. Kone Fseha of Tsega Publishing; Dr. Asmamaw Mengistie of Sholla Technical Center; Mr. Abebe Belew of Addis Radio Dimts. END

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