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Mid-Hudson Solidarity March & Rally in Poughkeepsie, February 2017
Photo by Karl Rabe/Vassar College

The Mid-Hudson Refugee Solidarity Alliance is a unique alliance of local faith-based organizations, institutions of higher learning, social services agencies, NGOs, and local interfaith councils. The Alliance is committed to making our community a welcoming and safe place for those who are forcibly displaced. In October 2016, along with Church World Services, the Alliance received permission from the State Department to resettle and welcome 80 refugees in the greater Poughkeepsie, NY, area. The 2016 election brought this work to a stunning halt as the new administration’s travel ban and severely restricted refugee policy made the Church World Services office unable to open. Students responded quickly. Vassar students, together with partners at Christ Church, were able to resettle one Congolese family who was already in transit when the ban and the refugee program suspension were announced. More recently, and working together with our community partners at Vassar Temple, the Alliance was able to make a home and give a new start for a political asylee and his family (wife and four children) from Egypt. Vassar students were instrumental in gathering all furniture and household goods and helped the congregations to set up houses for both families. Together with friends at Majid Al-Noor and Vassar Temple, students were also instrumental in helping support about 100 refugee families that arrived in 2016 and early 2017 in Albany and Schenectady. Vassar College donated 20 used Mac desk computers and people from the Hudson Valley (and as far as Westchester) and beyond held fundraisers and clothes collections so our students could help those in need.

Read more about the work of the Mid-Hudson Refugee Solidarity Alliance in the New York Times (January 31, 2017).