CARR Program Updates, Upcoming Events, and More!
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Inside this issue: See pictures and videos from World Refugee Day, learn about NAMS Resident Artist, hear about program updates, and more!
MEET MOLLY: Local Artist Joins Team for Public Art Grant

Artists Derek Reese (left) and Molly Rice (center) with NAMS staff member Becky Johnson (right) meet with Pittsburgh Airport administrators to talk about ways to welcome refugees upon their arrival. // Renee Piechocki

Molly comes to Northern’s CARR program as a recipient of the Office of Public Art’s 2-year, NEA-funded Artists in the Public Realm grant. During the first year, she will shadow the staff, attending airport pickups, home visits, meetings and public events, gaining an understanding of their work with refugees. During this time she will also gain a familiarity with the individual clients and international populations that CARR serves.

By the end of the first year, she will propose a live-art project designed to serve these populations, NAMS, and/or the Pittsburgh public-- possibly all three. The second year of her grant will be devoted to bringing the proposed project to fruition, through resources provided by the Office of Public Art. Her time with CARR only began in April, but she already feels like part of the team; she says, “This group is so welcoming, and incredibly hardworking. I’m finding it hard to keep up with everything I learn from them every day.”

More About Molly
Molly is a playwright, musician, and “experience designer”-- which means that not all of her work happens in a conventional performance space and that it strives to create a unique, fun, or meaningful experience for an audience without necessarily depending upon a traditional script or a hard line between audience and performer.

She’s been creating “site-specific” and public work for around 20 years, beginning in Austin, TX, in the late ‘90s (where she also performed in local bands), continuing through her graduate education at Brown University (MFA in Playwriting, 2006) to her time in New York City (2008-2013) and now in Pittsburgh, her beloved new home. She produces her work mainly through her live-art production company Real/Time Interventions with her producing partner (and husband) Rusty Thelin.

Their largest and most ambitious local project to date was 2015’s The Saints Tour: Greater Braddock, a traveling bus tour through the Braddock area that showcased local artists and musicians, as well as the unique geographical landscape and history of the area. Click here for some articles describing this experience!

For more information on Molly’s work, you can visit Stay tuned for updates on this project!


World Refugee Day celebration, with a poster that was handed out. // Alia Dwirahmani

This year, Pittsburgh held it's World Refugee Day Celebration on June 21, 2017, in Market Square, also recognizing Immigrant Heritage Month. Refugee and immigrant communities from all over Pittsburgh came together to share food, dances, songs, and culture with their fellow Pittsburghers.

World Refugee Day attendees join an African dance group. // Molly Rice

Performances featured salsa dancers, dancers from the Burmese and Bhutanese communities, dancers and drummers from various African countries, among many others. People could get henna tattoos and eat food from Syria, West Africa, Bhutan, and many other counties. 

   Bhutanese dancers perform for World Refugee Day. // Left: Molly Rice, Right: Alia Dwirahnmani

Citizenship Ceremony
One of the highlights of this even was the citizenship ceremony for 11 refugees from Bhutan and Syria. They partook in the citizenship oath in front of hundreds of people in Market Square. People cheered and joined in for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem during this ceremony.

Refugees from Bhutan and Syria say the Naturalization Oath to receive their US citizenship. // Allie Reefer

It was an amazing day, attended by people from all over Pittsburgh, including several of its key leaders. Speakers included immigrants and refugees who shared their stories, representatives from local organizations, and city councilman Dan Gilman. Even Mayor Bill Peduto joined the celebration, speaking about the importance of diversity and inclusion of refugees and immigrants to Pittsburgh's culture. 
Click photo to open link to Vimeo video.
Mayor Bill Peduto speaking at Pittsburgh's World Refugee Day Celebration on June 21, 2017. // Molly Rice

MEET THE STAFF: Former Refugee, NAMS Staff Member Passes Citizenship Test

NAMS staff celebrates Pratap Tamang passing his citizenship test. // Molly Rice

This May, NAMS maintenance man and former refugee Pratap Tamang passed his citizenship test. The NAMS staff congratulated him with a surprise celebration and cake. Originally from Bhutan, Pratap was resettled by NAMS in 2011. He was later employed by NAMS for maintenance and repair work. Pratap also takes care of the landscaping and gardening around the main office, planting unique flowers and even vegetables. The NAMS staff is proud to have him on their team!


Left: Pratap with NAMS staff and fellow Bhutanese community member, Pralad Mishra. Right: Pratap thanks NAMS staff. // Molly Rice

Sept. 15-24 -- Welcoming Week by Welcoming America | Various locations, dates, and times | Local events hosted by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh | Join in with cities around the nation for Welcoming Week in Pittsburgh! This week is meant to bring together communities of immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to educate about the diverse cultures and communities and to raise awareness about the importance of welcoming everyone. Pittsburgh is offering a variety of events during this time, including ESL conversation groups, readings, and a naturalization ceremony. Check out the Welcoming Week page and search "Pittsburgh" for more information.

More events coming soon! Stay updated through our Facebook page and email list to find out about our latest fundraisers and community events!

For more information about events, please contact us at 412-781-1175 ext. 2071 or at, or stay updated through the NAMS Facebook page.


Volunteer -- Volunteers play an integral role in helping us welcome and serve refugees. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to engage with refugees and help them integrate into our community as they start their new lives. Opportunities include:
  • Mentoring refugee families on basic life skills
  • Helping to navigate the public transit system 
  • Connecting refugees to community and social service providers
Anyone interested in these opportunities can call 412-781-1175 ext. 2248 or email to find out more.

Donate -- We work hard to make refugees feel welcome in their homes. Your donations of gently-used goods, including kitchenware, personal hygiene products, and furniture are greatly appreciated. We also welcome monetary donations. For a more detailed list of currently-accepted donations and information on how to donate materially and financially, please contact us at 412-781-1175 ext. 2248 or at

Have another idea? -- If you'd like to contribute in another way, please contact us to discuss your ideas. We are always welcome to new and innovative ways to support our communities and continue our work throughout Pittsburgh! Contact us at or 412-781-1175 ext. 2248.
Donate Now

Stay up-to-date with everything happening at the Community Assistance & Refugee Resettlement Department! 

Did You Know? CARR Serves Trafficking Victims
In June, the US Department of State Office to Monitor & Combat Trafficking in Persons released their annual report on June 27. Although cases of human trafficking in Pittsburgh aren't often talked about, they happen regularly. Along with refugees, CARR is able to serve foreign victims of trafficking through case management, job placement, and service coordination. Learn more about human trafficking in the US and around the world in the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report

We Need YOU!
We're looking for dedicated volunteers to serve as in-home ESL and life skills tutors. This program is a great way to invest in the lives of refugee families in our own community. Build a relationship, help them build skills, show them around Pittsburgh! If you're interested, email for more information. 

TASTE OF HOME: Recipes from our Refugee Communities
SUDAN: Al Aswad Salad

Al Aswad Salad, or eggplant salad, is a popular side dish in Sudan and South Sudan. It contains many staples of Sudanese food, including peanuts (peanut butter), and is typically served with pita or other bread. 

  • 1 lb. eggplant, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. peanut butter
  • Water to liquefy peanut butter
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt, black pepper, cumin to taste
  • Shallow fry the eggplant in oil and keep stirring until it is golden brown, set aside.
  • Dice the tomatoes, put in food processor or blender, and pulse.
  • In a sauce pan bring the tomato sauce to a gentle boil.
  • With a fork, mash the eggplant, then add to the simmering tomato sauce.
  • Add lime juice and garlic and salt, black, pepper, or cumin to taste. Stir and remove the pan from heat. 
  • Liquefy the peanut butter in some water and add to the previous mixture.
  • Add the diced green onion and mix well.
  • Chill in your fridge and serve with pita bread.

PHOTO STORIES: Our Work in Pictures
The NAMS table outside Biddle's Escape during the Regent Square Yard Sale. This couple participated in our campaign to write notes for new arrivals. // Molly Rice
World Refugee Day Celebration attendees write notes to be translated for refugees newly arriving to the US. // Molly Rice
Burmese dancers at World Refugee Day Celebration. // Alia Dwirahmani
The crowd for Pittsburgh's World Refugee Day Celebration. // Alia Dwirahmani
Attendees listen to speakers, singers, and dancers at Pittsburgh's World Refugee Day Celebration, coming from various countries and communities in the city. // Alia Dwirahmani

To donate, click the button below and specify "CARR" in the Special Instructions section.
Donate Now
Use the links below to connect with us on social media, check out our website, and share this newsletter.
Northern Area Multi-Service Center
Community Assistance and Refugee Resettlement (CARR)
209 13th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
412-781-1175 ext. 2248
CARR website

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CARR · 209 13th Street · Pittsburgh, PA 15215 · USA

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