Refugee and Immigrant Self Empowerment Inc., also known as RISE, is hosting a virtual ‘Night of Nations’ celebrating cultural diversity and honoring local individuals who have done so much for the local refugee community.

Executive Director Haji Adan says this year’s event is about honoring the people who have committed and dedicated their time and efforts to help refugees adjust to American life. The mission of the organization is to advocate and promote self-sufficiency through employment, education, social support and economic independence for members of the refugee and immigrant communities.

One of this year’s honorees is Angela Douglas, Co-Executive Director of Vera House. She has been a long-standing supporter of the organization and says she willfully steps up and helps in any way she can as a way to give back to a community that is doing so much to help those seek better opportunities for themselves and their families.

“Coming to this country is not an easy thing and when you’re fleeing war, poverty and the lack of ability to get education for your children, this is a place, as a sanctuary city, that we have said we’re committed to helping people,” she says. “RISE has been founded by a group of committed citizens, immigrants and refugees themselves who do all of this, and I’m just proud to be someone who can do my part and give back.”

On April 28th, the organization is hosting a ‘Night of Nations’ virtual event that is free for everyone to attend. The night will also feature an online auction celebrating local businesses and artisans and all items will be available for bid virtually from wherever you are. All funds raised will benefit programs and services for refugees and immigrants at home in Central New York.

Donations are also being graciously accepted and every donation makes a big difference in the lives of immigrants who often come with just the clothes on their back Haji says. He adds that there are many ways you can support RISE and no gift or gesture is too small. To learn more about the event and to register or to make a donation today visit,