MISSION

The mission of International Neighbors is to serve our refugee and SIV ​(special immigrant visa holders, who worked alongside U.S. military in Iraq/Afghanistan) neighbors by​ offering a network of support services, people, and opportunities that will foster a path to self-sufficiency and productive citizenship.

HISTORY

International Neighbors was founded in 2015 by Kari Anderson Miller, a local educator for 17 years. During that time, she gained valuable insight into the lives of refugee students and their families, who had been resettled to Charlottesville from 31 countries. Having been a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, Kari could empathize with the challenges of learning to speak, read and write a foreign language while acquiring skills necessary to navigate a new society. While some of the refugee and SIV neighbors were achieving success, many were struggling in their new land- even choosing suicide, or returning to the dangers of their homeland. As the international neighbor population of Charlottesville grew to 6%- and knowledge about their existence remained minimal amongst locals- Ms. Miller launched International Neighbors in an effort to expose the challenges endured by “silent citizens” of our town, as well as to unveil the multitude of ways in which our community is more valuable because of them.

We are all neighbors

"International Neighbors gave us curtains on the windows one day. But they give us friendship every day."

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

kari miller_ed

Kari Miller

Founder & Executive Director

ben goodman

Ben Goodman

Treasurer

susan kalergis

Susan Kalergis

Secretary

Liza Fields_500x420

Liza Fields

Health & Wellness
Programs Ch
air

 

susan parmer

Susan Parmar

Community Connections
Programs Chair

jennifer thompson

Jennifer Thompson

Brighter Beginnings
Programs Chair

BOARD OF ADVISORS:

AJ Mikhlif

Ahmed “A.J.” Mikhlif

SIV Program Manager- Iraq

mohammad masoudi

Mohammad Masoudi

SIV Program Manager- Afghanistan

Our Community Partners