The Fairfield Rotary Club Logo

Meeting Announcement

An American Story: Finding Home in Fairfield County

Date of Meeting: 02/05/18

Our guest speaker for Feb. 5th is Claudia Connor, from the CT Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (Formerly the International Instituter of CT).  CIRI is celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year, and in partnership with the Fairfield Museum and History Center, CIRE will have an opening exhibition reception this coming week, “An American Story — Finding Home in Fairfield County.”

On View in the Spaght Gallery
  (February 8 – July 23, 2018)
This exhibition highlights the experiences of refugees and immigrants who have built new lives in Fairfield County. A series of photographic portraits and biographical narratives share how eight individuals from Cambodia, Congo, Cuba, Hungary, India, Rwanda, and Syria have rebuilt their lives and created a sense of home. Seeking safety and opportunity here, refugees and immigrants from around the world have added to the fabric of our communities. The exhibition also honors the 100th anniversary of the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI), founded in 1918 to help new immigrants in their journey to making a home in Fairfield County.
Photographs by Caren Winnall. Special thanks to Lynne Penczer.
CIRI’s Mission:
The Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI) is a statewide nonprofit organization that assists refugees and immigrants resolve legal, economic, linguistic and social barriers so that they become self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of the community. CIRI achieves this mission by providing a compassionate array of high-quality legal, social and educational programming and by promoting cross-cultural understanding and decent treatment for all.

Claudia Connor – Bio

Claudia Connor is the President & CEO of the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI). She has close to 30 years of program management, advocacy, and legal and strategic leadership experience in the non-profit sector in the United States, Africa and Southeast Asia. Prior to coming to CIRI in April 2015, Claudia worked at Save the Children on the Strategic Foundation Partnerships team. Previously, she worked at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as a Senior Technical Advisor in the Governance & Rights Unit, Regional Director in the US Programs supervising refugee resettlement offices across the US, and as Director of National Refugee Resettlement Programs. Overseas, Claudia was a consultant with UNICEF, the Carter Center, Save the Children UK, and Population Services International (PSI) among other agencies, working on issues such as child trafficking, child soldiers, women’s rights, juvenile justice and the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Before moving overseas in 1998, Claudia was a senior trial attorney for Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, in New York. She has her JD from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. in History from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Claudia lives in Norwalk with her husband and their three boys, ages 13, 16 and 17.

February 5, 2018