CanopyNWA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization started by Northwest Arkansas residents who are working to create a place of refuge for people fleeing persecution due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin.


Our Story

Increasingly, refugees from all over the world must relocate as a result of political, religious, ethnic, or socio-cultural conflict. Many of us are have seen the haunting images of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, walking across Eastern Europe on foot, and sleeping next to barbed-wire fences. The UNHCR Global Trends Report states that in 2015, 65.3 million people, i.e., one person in 113, were displaced from their homes as a result of persecution and conflict.

Accordingly, the U.S. government has increased the number of refugees permitted to relocate here, and therefore many of the long-standing national resettlement agencies are over-saturated and in need of new location sites for refugees. Northwest Arkansas (NWA) is a highly attractive region for refugee resettlement due to its variety of employment options, robust social services, and low cost of living.

In response to this gap in refugee services, Canopy NWA formed as an official non-profit after reaching out to the greater NWA community and finding an abundance of talented individuals who desire to support refugee resettlement efforts. As an organization, Canopy has experienced overwhelming support from various people and organizations in the resettlement process from the local level to the national level.

There are many components to resettling refugees such as a place to live, schools for children, healthcare access, a welcoming community, and a whole host of other needs. Canopy’s goal is to create a comprehensive network that connects refugee families to everything they need to build a new life here. Canopy believes that Northwest Arkansas is one of the best places in the country to accept refugees into its community; in turn, refugees will benefit our community by stimulating the area’s economy through creating new business, paying taxes, purchasing goods and services from local businesses, and volunteering for the benefit of our community.


Canopy Northwest Arkansas

Board of Directors

Clint Schnekloth  Chair of Canopy Board & Head Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Clint Schnekloth 

Chair of Canopy Board & Head Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Katie Gottlieb Vice Chair of Canopy Board, First Presbyterian Church Mission Committee, Bentonville Library Board

Katie Gottlieb

Vice Chair of Canopy Board, First Presbyterian Church Mission Committee, Bentonville Library Board

Dr. Donna Davis Secretary of Canopy Board & Research and Evaluation Specialist

Dr. Donna Davis

Secretary of Canopy Board & Research and Evaluation Specialist

Kellen Utecht Treasurer of Canopy Board & Director of Sustainability at Phigenics,  Fayetteville Downtown Rotary Member, Clinton School of Public Service Alumni Board - Member

Kellen Utecht

Treasurer of Canopy Board & Director of Sustainability at Phigenics,  Fayetteville Downtown Rotary Member, Clinton School of Public Service Alumni Board - Member

Emily Crane Linn Executive Director

Emily Crane Linn

Executive Director

Jacob Perry Board Member & CEO, Patagonia Bee Products

Jacob Perry

Board Member & CEO, Patagonia Bee Products

Matthew Showman    ESL Instructor and Volunteer Relations Coordinator for Canopy  

Matthew Showman   

ESL Instructor and Volunteer Relations Coordinator for Canopy  

Majidi Shabani Board Member and Owner of Swahili Shoes

Majidi Shabani

Board Member and Owner of Swahili Shoes

Ken Patterson Executive Director of Feed Communities and Capacity Development Specialist for Canopy

Ken Patterson

Executive Director of Feed Communities and Capacity Development Specialist for Canopy

Mike Rusch CEO of Pure Charity, Board Member of Serve NWA, Veteran US Marine Corps

Mike Rusch

CEO of Pure CharityBoard Member of Serve NWA, Veteran US Marine Corps

Frank Head Director of Catholic Charities and Catholic Charities Liaison for Canopy

Frank Head

Director of Catholic Charities and Catholic Charities Liaison for Canopy

Kao Lee Board member and Attorney

Kao Lee

Board member and Attorney


Resettlement Team

Emily Crane Linn Director of Resettlement

Emily Crane Linn

Director of Resettlement

Miranda 1.jpg

Miranda Black

Volunteer Coordinator

Rick Barry Employment Specialist

Rick Barry

Employment Specialist

Francisco Ayala Case Manager

Francisco Ayala

Case Manager

Lauren Snodgrass Community Outreach Coordinator

Lauren Snodgrass

Community Outreach Coordinator


Internship Opportunities

 

Canopy is pleased to announce that we are now considering applications for three summer internship positions! We are looking for interns to help with Community Outreach, Child Education and Employment. Internship hours can vary depending on student availability and their desired number of credit hours, but we are generally looking for people who can give 8-15 hours a week. Our fall internships run from January 22 to May 10. These are unpaid internships, but we work closely with students to ensure they receive maximum credit for their work.

Child Education Intern

Oversees childcare for refugee children while parents attend their weekly Cultural Orientation class. Plans activities, games and lessons that will facilitate cultural learning and English practice. Manages other volunteers and reports any issues to volunteer coordinator. All years and majors encouraged to apply.  

8-10 hours/week. Unpaid, for credit.  Please send your resume and a cover letter to emily.linn@canopynwa.org by November 15 to apply. 

Full job description here.

Serves to promote Canopy NWA in the community through frequent speaking engagements, consistent online communication, meetings with community stakeholders and events. The Community Outreach Intern also assists in the recruitment, training and management of community volunteers. All years and majors encouraged to apply.

10-15 hours/week. Unpaid, for credit.  Please send your resume and a cover letter to lauren.snodgrass@canopynwa.org by November 15 to apply. 

Full job description here. 

Community Outreach Intern

 

 

 

Employment Services Intern

 

 

 

Assists in preparing refugee clients to enter the American workforce. Assists in teaching Canopy NWA’s job training class, developing its job training curriculum, and may provide one-on-one coaching of its refugee clients as needed.

10-15 hours/week. Unpaid, for credit.  Please send your resume and a cover letter to rick.barry@canopynwa.org by November 15 to apply. 


Full job description here.