Claremont Canopy Screens "Human Flow"

On Saturday, March 10, Claremont Canopy held our first event and fundraiser at the Rose Hills Theater at Pomona College. Many members of the local community came out on a rainy night to enjoy Syrian food and a special screening of the Ai WeiWei documentary "Human Flow."

It was a festive night, kicked off with the singing of "Happy Birthday" to our dear friend Abdul Kanjo and introducing him to an American staple- Costco birthday cake! There was a great energy as people mingled and enjoyed drinks provided by Last Name Brewery and Syrian appetizers catered by the Kanjo family. Many of our resettled friends were there and it was fun watching everyone getting to know each other.

With stuffed bellies, we all went into the theater to hear brief remarks by Canopy director, Christy Anderson. Christy spoke about our group and our hopes for this community. Then, to the delight of our new neighbors, she gave a special message in Arabic, which our friends assured us was (mostly) understandable.

"Human Flow" is a beautifully filmed look at refugee movements around the world. The film took us into refugee camps, along the escape routes that snaked through multiple countries, and into the minds of those fleeing oppression and violence. It was sobering and moving, but also very humanizing. I think we were all able to conceptualize this overwhelming crisis in a very individual way.

This fun and educational evening was a huge success and raised a significant amount of money for Canopy's initiatives. We are now hard at work looking at how we might address areas of need as well as planning for long term support and resources for our local families. Thank you to all who joined us on Saturday!

 

Hello Claremont (and Beyond)!

It's an exciting moment for us. For months we've been scheming and planning, building relationships and creating structure. We're taking what we've learned as founding members of a local refugee resettlement team, looked at what works and what doesn't, assessed what the long-term needs of families are, and built an organization that puts the needs of resettled families first.

Claremont Canopy will be addressing core elements of long-term refugee success: Employment, Education, Health Care, and Empowerment. We will be partnering with leaders in community, local government, and business to ensure that we can offer the very best relationships and resources. We will be maintaining a Community Advisory Board for this purpose.

We will also work with our partners at Miry's List and the New Arrivals Supper Club to utilize the power of social media and crowdsourcing so that anyone who wants to help with refugee resettlement can easily do so.

Are you excited? We are. Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages, get on our mailing list, donate to support our mission. E-mail us if you're interested in volunteering, advising, or have any special expertise to lend. Claremont Canopy is a community driven organization and we welcome your help! There is a lot of work to be done, let's get started!

New Beginnings

It's an exciting day at Claremont Canopy! Today was move-in day for one of our refugee families. They joined us back in mid-April, coming to California from Syria by way of Connecticut--- two parents, four kids, and a baby on the way. A month and a half later and after taking care of so many other things, they finally found a house in the area and are moving in. They started their stay here using the rooms generously offered by Pomona Presbyterian Church. From there, they moved into a motel in Claremont as their kids got enrolled and started school. In the meantime, the house hunt was long and exhausting.

Affordable housing is a real need in this community. We plan on making this a priority for our group. We'll get educated about it, making connections with the city and with affordable housing providers, and figure out how to make this lovely area a viable option for everyone.

But for now, we celebrate! After a long journey, Claremont's new residents have a place to call home.