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Immigrant & Refugee Commission

  

 

The Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission advocates for the immigrant and refugee communities of the City of Denver. They connect communities with allies, stakeholders and resources in Denver and provide valuable community context and input to policy makers. The Commission engages communities in an integrative and meaningfulway and provides education by raising awareness about resources that will make their integration into the Denver community constructive.

ROLE OF THE COMMISSION: To develop collaborative and partnership potential between Denver’s immigrant and refugee communities and the City & County of Denver and to identify and impact mutual community challenges and opportunities.

 

Commission Meetings

Meets the last Wednesday of each month from 6:00pm-7:30pm at various locations

Commission Calendar

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Commission Members

Bridget began serving the Commission in February of 2015.

She is originally from Ghana West Africa and immigrated to Colorado in 2002.

Bridget graduated from the University of Denver with a Master of Library and Information Science degree and currently works with the City and County of Denver, Office of Economic Development, Division of Small Business Opportunity.

She has also worked for the Denver Public Library, University of Denver Penrose Library and University of Colorado Health Sciences Library as a practicum student where she conducted a study in conjunction with Colorado State Library on Serving African Immigrants in Colorado Public Libraries.

She is trilingual speaking English, Ga and Twi. 

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Diana Higuera is the Executive Director of the Aurora Welcome Center where she oversees all aspects of the development of the Aurora Welcome Center as a shared space for a mix of immigrant and refugee serving entities.

Diana was born in Venezuela and immigrated to the U.S. in 2005. She received her MA in International and Intercultural Communication from the University of Denver and holds a BA in Mass Communication and a BS in Business Administration from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas.

Felipe is originally from Morelia, Michoacán Mexico but has lived in Colorado for most of his life. Felipe was one of the first commissioners to serve on DIRC. He is eager to have an influential year with the commission. A university education first brought him to the Mile High City in 2008, where he attended the University of Denver, triple-majoring in Political Science, Spanish Literature and Language and International Studies.

As a former community organizer, Felipe has tackled social justice issues ranging from education justice, labor rights, and immigrant rights. He currently manages a Latino youth soccer program for the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club, where he works with communities throughout Colorado. He also finds time to write for an up and coming soccer website called the18.com and serves as a Board member of Clerk and Recorders ACCESO Spanish Advisory Board.

Felipe is excited to be involved with the commission. It’s going to be a great and busy year for Dirc. He looks forward to working closely with his fellow commissioners in elevating the voice of immigrant and refugee families here in the city.

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Fran Campbell is a Denver native born to Filipino immigrants. She has been an active volunteer, advisor and leader in the Denver APIA community for almost thirty years. Her focus has been on developing programs for APIA youth; removing the stigma of mental health in the APIA community; and acting as a voice for the community to municipal and state agencies.

Currently, Fran is Senior Clinical Support at Jefferson Center for Mental Health, serving on the Cultural Competency Task Force as APIA Community Liaison. Fran is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor/Trainer.

Fran is a frequent guest speaker on issues important to the Asian Pacific American community.  Public speaking engagements including Emily Griffith Technical College; Generation Connect Workshop; Youth Partnership for Health (CDPHE); Next Generation Voices; Denver Sheriff’s Department; Comcast; Colorado Bureau of Land Management; Asian Chamber of Commerce; Federal Dept of the Interior.

Fran was awarded the Denver Foundation Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award in June 2011. On January 17, 2014, Fran was a recipient of the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award.  And in May 2015, Fran was recognized as an Asian American Hero of Colorado by Asian Avenue Magazine.

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Karima Osman has over five years experience working at a Fortune 500 financial organization. In her current role as a regulatory replacement specialist, she is responsible for advising organizations and individuals on financial regulations governing U.S. states. She also advises on wealth management and has expertise on pension plans, tax deferred annuities, and investing.

She earned a bachelor's in business management in 2011 from the University of Colorado Denver, and a master's in health care administration and management from Colorado State University in 2014.

Moreover, she serves on the Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission, where the city’s mayor appointed her in December 2014. As commissioner, she engages communities and policy makers on meaningful ways to support immigrants and refugees.  In addition, she is a founding member and current board member of the Colorado Oromo Youth Advocate, where she leads youth in community service activities. 

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Pilar Castro-Reino recently retired from the Denver Public Library, where she managed several branches as well as immigrant services for the system.  Pilar earned her GED, then proceeded to earn her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts, and a B.A. in Spanish. She graduated with her MLS from the University of Arizona in Tucson.  Born in Puerto Rico, she first joined the Denver Public Library focusing on providing customer services and meeting the needs of Spanish speaking populations. She has loved learning and leading programming for our increasingly ethnically diverse populations in Denver.  

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Yusuf Hassan is a Manager at Saint Joseph Hospital, SCL Health System. Yusuf has over 6 years of professional Finance and Corporate experience. He has worked as an Assistant Vice President of the largest private bank in Colorado. In addition, he has done Financial Consulting work for Kaiser Permanente. 

Yusuf migrated from Ethiopia when he was in middle school. He comes from a family and mentors that preached serving others. That has influenced Yusuf to be passionate about transforming the lives of others in his community.

In addtion to serving on Colorado Black Health Collaborative board, Yusuf is a founder and President of Colorado Oromo Youth Advocate and Association (COYAA), a mentorship program that supports and advocates for immigrant Oromo Youth. He is also a past board member and treasurer of the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA), and Academy of Finance Program at Denver South High School. Yusuf also enjoys volunteering his time with youth serving organizations such as Junior Achievements and Goodwill Youth Program. 

Yusuf is a class of 2005 Daniels Fund Scholar. He received bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Business from the University of Denver (DU). Currently, he’s enrolled in MBA--Healthcare Leadership Program at Regis University.

Yusuf believes in helping the immigrants thrive not just survive. He’s especially passionate about helping the immigrant youths realize and take full advantage of the opportunities that are available this country!

Contact the Commission

To apply: 
Complete the application 
and send it to anthony.aragon@denvergov.org.

For questions, comments, or more information please contact:
Jamie Torres, DIRC Liaison
720-913-8471
jamie.torres@denvergov.org