#WorldRefugeeDay – An Interview with Ramla Sahid, Executive Director of Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA)

In honor of #WorldRefugeeDay this week, we’re happy to share a few stories from some of the changemakers working tirelessly to make a difference.  In this post, we feature Ramla Sahid, who not only is the Executive Director of Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA), but also leads Leichtag Foundation’s Syrian Refugee Initiative as Senior Refugee Advisor.  Additionally, Leichtag Foundation has made a grant to support PANA’s efforts in the areas of research, awareness building and Syrian community organizing.

Ramla Sahid

Executive Director, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA)

What is PANA?
PANA is research, public policy, and community organizing hub dedicated to advancing the full economic, social, and civic inclusion of refugees in our region.
How did you get involved?
Previously, I was a community organizer leading campaign and policy efforts on Restorative Justice as a pre-adjudication alternative to the punitive juvenile justice system. I also worked on advancing policies related to access to health care. After five years amazing years, I decided that I needed to help incubate and start a refugee focused organizing, policy, and research hub in San Diego.
What have you learned since beginning working on this project?

The need to break out of our silos so that we are free and able to take advantage of our collective intelligences to solve very complex problems.

What is one piece of information you wish everyone understood about refugee resettlement?
That our country’s refugee policy expects families to be self-sufficient immediately.
How can someone get involved with PANA?
We are always looking for volunteers and supports for our work. To join our efforts, visit http://www.panasd.org/join

Follow PANA on Facebook.