The 2014 Lutheran Social Services New Americans’ Building Bridges Conference opened Tuesday morning at the Fargo Holiday Inn with opening remarks from Darci Asche, community support services supervisor; Bob Sanderson, agency CEO; and Laetitia Mizero, program director.
Keynote speaker Luma Mufleh, chronicled her remarkable story of growing up in Amman, Jordan, coming to the United States and eventually founding the Fugees (short for refugees) soccer team in Atlanta.
“It took me awhile to understand that some of the kids I saw playing soccer were living from day to day,” Luma said. “And that many of these kids were going to bed hungry.”
Throughout her tireless endeavors building the soccer team, as well as the Fugees Academy in Atlanta, Luma said she always believed in the “resilience and goodness of humanity.”
Addressing the conference attendees, Luma added, “(Those of us here) are privileged. We can read and write and we don’t go hungry. With that comes the burden of responsibility. We must identify with the powerless, not the powerful. We must do what we can to make the world a kinder, safer place. Our work is about righting wrongs.”
The conference continues through Wednesday afternoon with several breakout sessions and a plenary session led by Brad Delzer.