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UWL support for Afghan guests

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UWL is collaborating with Viterbo University and Western Technical College, along with additional community organizations, to help coordinate volunteers and resources to help the Afghan guests living at Fort McCoy.

UW-La Crosse response and resources

Check this page for updates on action steps to support our Afghan guests. Here is a list of agencies currently providing support:

  • Catholic Charities of La Crosse provides an opportunity for our community to donate items through online registries, as well as volunteer their time. Find information HERE.
  • Team Rubicon, a national organization that serves vulnerable populations affected by disaster, is organizing donation efforts of culturally sensitive clothing and winter gear using Amazon Wishlist. Find the wishlist HERE.
  • Welcome.US is a new national organization focused on engaging Americans and mobilizing support across sectors for Afghan refugees. Find information HERE
  • No One Left Behind is a national all-volunteer organization working to support Special Immigrant Visa recipients. They are accepting monetary donations HERE

Past community events:

Voices of Uprising: Refugees and the 20-year Conflict in Afghanistan

Tuesday, November 9th, 6:00PM - 8:00PM


Viterbo University, Western Technical College, and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will be hosting a third discussion to help our community understand and support our new Afghan neighbors. The event will take place at UW-La Crosse, Centennial Hall, room 1309. Our panelists will discuss the history of refugees in the United States and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Meet our panelists--

Rahim Gul Sarwan, TV/Radio/Digital Media journalist for Voice of America - Sarwan has been an award-winning member of the Afghan media since 2003. For the past 13 years, Sarwan covered Afghan politics, military, and social and economic reports for Voices of America Ashna. He previously worked for Al Jazeera TV in Afghanistan. Sarwan has interviewed many Afghan politicians including former President Hamid Karzai, as well as U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan and NATO/US coalition commanders. Sarwan received the "Face of Press Freedom 2020" award by Free Speech Hub. Sarwan studied at Kabul University Social Science General History faculty. He also obtained his masters degree in business administration from Bakhter, a private Afghan university.

Javed Ahmad Kakar (known as Javed Hamim Kakar in the media), senior editor Pajhwok Afghan News - Kakar was born in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He started his journalism career in Pakistan with a Pashto daily newspaper in 1993 and also worked with the Afghan Islamic Press. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States and when the Taliban collapsed, Kakar returned to Afghanistan in 2004 to start work with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and in 2005 started working with Pajhwok Afghan News, the leading independent news agency in Afghanistan. Kakar covered U.S. Force Afghanistan, NATO, U.S. Embassy and USAID issues.

Dr. Omar Granados, UWL Associate Professor (link)

Dr. Mahruq Khan, UWL Associate Professor (link)

Dr. Vincent Her, UWL Associate Professor (link)

Questions may be submitted to the panelists in advance HERE.

Those who cannot attend in person can view a live stream of the event HERE. There will also be a live stream viewing event at Western Technical College in Tomah (Community Room, 120 E. Milwaukee Street).

Masks are required at both the in-person event and the livestream viewing event. Seating is limited.

Access the recording of the event HERE.

After watching the recording, your feedback is welcome. Fill out our short feedback form HERE


Getting To Know Our New Afghan Neighbors: A Live Stream Event

Tuesday, October 19th, 6:00PM - 7:30PM

Viterbo University, Western Technical College, and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will be hosting a second discussion to help  our community understand and support our new Afghan neighbors. The topics we will be covering during this event are U.S. refugee resettlement program basics, special immigrant visas, and tips for community members when interacting with our new Afghan neighbors.  Meet our panelists--

Genevieve Levy has a background in International Relations with a focus on peoples and nationalities and have worked in direct social services since 2005. Her experience working with the Afghan communities in Sacramento, CA, began in 2015 after starting and overseeing a refugee resettlement program from 2015-2021. Sacramento is now home to the largest Afghan community in the United States. Levy now works in the CA State Assembly as a District Director and has continued to support the local Afghan community in Sacramento. Levy and her colleagues have provided this presentation on more than 30 occasions over the last 5 years to medical professionals, educational institutions, direct social service providers, and the general public for educational (and appreciation) purposes. 

Nemat Sadat worked as a translator/cultural advisor for the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan from 2010-2014. He graduated from law school in Afghanistan and continued his education at Mcgeorge School of law. Nemat finished his LLM degree in 2019 and started his new/current job with Sacramento District Attorney's Office in late 2019. He worked from May 2015-December 2019 as Refugee Resettlement Coordinator.

The event will be live streamed for personal streaming accessibility. An in person live stream viewing event will be hosted at Western Technical College in Tomah, Community Room, 120 East Milwaukee Street, and at Viterbo University, Reinhart, room 134 (limited in-person attendance and face masks required).

Access the recording of the event HERE


Supporting Afghan Evacuees: A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, September 29th, 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Viterbo University, Western Technical College, and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will be hosting a panel discussion to help our community understand and support our new Afghan neighbors.  Whether the guests at Ft. McCoy end up staying in our area long-term or not, we believe it is important to learn about and welcome people who have been through so much with as much Wisconsin hospitality as we can. We are excited to host our panelists --  Lt. Col. Erik Archer (ROTC/Military Science), Anthony Chergosky (UWL Political Science), and Roberto Partarrieu (Catholic Charities).

The event will be held in person (following all CDC Covid safety guidance- face masks required) at Viterbo Fine Arts Center in the FSPA Lobby, live-streamed to Western Technical College in Tomah (limited in-person attendance and face masks required), and live streamed for personal streaming accessibility.

Access the recording of the event HERE

After watching the recording we would love to hear what you think. Fill out our short feedback form HERE


UWL engages

UWL Associate Professor and TESOL Director Heather Linville helped announce the Operation Allies Welcome School Supply Drive at a news conference on December 8, 2021, along with partners from Western Technical College, Viterbo University, School District of La Crosse and Great Rivers United Way. The school supply drive collected 673 items totaling just over $7,783. The supplies are being used by the nearly 2,000 Afghans attending classes at Fort McCoy as part of the ongoing effort to help them adapt to life in the United States as they await resettlement. Photo Courtesy: School District of La Crosse