As Canopy continues to move forward toward resettling refugees in the fall, the board decided to take the important step of selecting our resettlement director: Emily Crane Linn. As director, Emily will be in charge of laying the foundation for our new programs, hiring and training staff and then overseeing the resettlement process once we are up and running. We figured the best way for you to get to know her was for her to introduce herself… So here she is:
Dear friends of Canopy,
I am so excited to lead the charge in our collective efforts to build a refugee resettlement site here in Northwest Arkansas! I have been a part of this movement since the very beginning, back when we thought it would be two or three years before we would see refugees arrive. It’s been thrilling to watch things progress so quickly! The pace has left me a little breathless, but I am cognizant of the fact that we are all making history together, that we are doing something that has never been done before in Arkansas, that we are going to be able to directly aid hundreds of people—and that is truly energizing.
I am new to refugee resettlement. My background in this field dates back to January when Canopy first began gathering steam. I am a journalist by trade. I have worked mostly in the Middle East, covering Egypt and Tunisia in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. I’ve told the stories of Palestinian refugees stuck in perpetual limbo in Egypt, of Egyptians facing persecution from their own state and contemplating the risks of seeking asylum in Turkey, of Tunisian fishermen rescuing refugees from capsized boats at sea. Each of these stories deeply affected me and left me wishing I could do more to help.
So when the position of Resettlement Director opened up, my heart was immediately drawn in. This was my chance to help the sorts of people whose stories I had been telling. How could I pass that by? So here I am :)
We have a huge task ahead of us. We are attempting to build a refugee resettlement program from scratch in a state where resettlement is practically nonexistent. This is not a job I can do alone. But it will be my honor to lead the way as we all work to make Northwest Arkansas into a place of safety, welcome and new beginnings for our world’s most vulnerable.
All the best,
You can contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org