Our mission is to empower immigrants and refugees with the tools they need to successfully acclimate to the world around them and become active participants in their communities.
AAFSC’s vision is more pressing today than ever: Striving for a socially just society where all immigrants including Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian populations can fully partake as Americans. We pursue our vision across all priority areas and we structure our activities around impact and outcomes.
Our shared values guide everything we do, and our programs are based on current and emerging needs of clients. As a learning organization, we utilize community feedback, program outcomes, focus groups, and surveys to improve current programming and develop new initiatives.
We are committed to social justice and steadfast in confronting xenophobia, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, homophobia, othering, and all forms of oppression. We value healing.
We are committed to working collaboratively with community stakeholders to leverage resources, share learning, document social impact, offer thought leadership on issues that impact new immigrants, and serve as a trauma-informed central hub.
As a settlement house, we are geographically embedded in the communities we serve. This translates to a better real-time understanding of community challenges. Collectively, our staff speak Arabic, Albanian, American Sign Language, Armenian, Bangla, French, German, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Nepali, Newari, Pashto, Punjabi, Romanian, Sherpa, Sindhi, Somali, Spanish, Tibetan, Urdu, and Wakhi.
Our staff is trauma-informed, which means we approach every interaction through a lens of safety, trustworthiness, peer support, collaboration, mutual respect, and an appreciation for cultural, historical, and gender issues.
We evolve our services based on the needs of the community. That means our staff remains flexible to respond to emerging needs of the populations we serve. We are first and foremost a client-driven organization.Our Staff
Our families live at the intersections of racism, xenophobia, and multiple forms of oppression that prevent them from fully participating as equals in the mainstream culture. Hearing their stories and feeling their struggles inspires us to be creative with our services, expanding our programs, and stretching our organizational budget to offer more services to more people. Thus, to be efficient and effective, we operate a flat organization and hire individuals who are generalists that can work in multiple programs and settings at any given time, and where they are needed.
We recognize, understand, and respond to the various levels of trauma our community faces. Many are coping with trauma associated with flight, migration, and resettlement in a new country along with the everyday challenges of living in poverty and experiencing discrimination.Our Stories