Our Madison Partners

Forward Services Corporation
FSC is a non-profit employment and training organization. They currently offer programs in 46 Wisconsin counties to provide training, education, career guidance, and supportive services to refugee clients and others.  We work with them primarily with finding jobs for newcomers arriving in Madison.

Jewish Social Services of Madison
Jewish Social Services provides assistance to refugees and their families through a variety of services and resources to help them become self-sufficient and create a safe and stable life in the Dane County area. We partner closely with them to ensure this mission is successful.

The Literacy Network

701 Dane Street, Madison, WI 53713
(608) 244-3911
The Literacy Network teaches reading, writing, communication, and computer skills to Dane County adults so they can achieve financial security, well- being, and deeper engagement with their families and the community. For refugees, they specifically offer  introductory English classes. They assist refugees in learning the English language skills and cultural information needed to navigate life in the United States and be successful in their employment, community life, education, and civic engagement. They also provide ongoing educational support and referrals to internal and external programs as needed.

Madison College
Madison College offers ELL (English Language Learning) classes to help refugees and others get the help they need to succeed in work, school, and life. Their ELL classes provide support to help improve reading, writing, and oral language skills. Our volunteers partner with Madison College and assist with homework help and English conversation practice.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers – Madison
RPCV is a group of returned Peace Corps volunteers and other individuals who promote Peace Corps ideals by supporting a social network for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, promoting cultural understanding and awareness of international issues, supporting the Peace Corps’ mission and active volunteers, and collaborating and volunteering with non-profit organizations aligned with their goals. For 40 years they have conducted the annual Freeze for Food race and for the last several years have donated the proceeds to Open Doors. We have partnered with them to plan and host the race for several years now.

Neighboring Organizations

World Relief Chicago

3507 W Lawrence Chicago, Illinois 60625
(773) 583 – 9191
World Relief is one of ten national organizations contracted with the US Department of State to resettle refugees from all over the world. World Relief Chicago begins working for new refugees and their families prior to their arrival and offers services their first 12-18 months to guide them along a path to integration in the United States.

Refugee One

5705 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 989 – 5647
Since 1982, RefugeeOne has served more than 18,000 refugees and immigrants, assisting them in becoming independent members of their new Illinois community. RefugeeOne provides “furnished apartments, English classes, job search support, mental health care, youth programming, and mentors to help them adjust to life in the U.S.”

Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services

731 W. Washington St., Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 643 – 8570
Catholic Charities works with refugee communities to assist with their integration needs. Their experienced immigration attorneys assist low-income immigrants and refugees with lawful status through U.S. Immigration. Their integration services works with refugee communities and other partners to design programs that leverage community assets to facilitate the integration of refugees and immigrants into communities across southeastern Wisconsin.

International Institute of Minnesota

1694 Como Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108
(651) 647-0191 x 338
The International Institute of Minnesota provides services and resources to empower New Americans (immigrants and refugees) in the pursuit of their goals. From language learning and job training to immigration assistance, citizenship classes, refugee resettlement, case management and the Festival of Nations, the Institute offers New Americans a pathway for a strong start to a new life in our community 

Facts & Data

Migrants, Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Immigrants: What’s the Difference?

Definitions provided by the International Rescue Committee.

The UN Refugee Agency Data Page

Data provided by the UNHCR on refugee population and resettlement statistics, global trends, and interagency coordination maps. 

Common Myths About Refugees 

Information provided by the International Rescue Committee addressing common myths about refugees and why they spread harmful misinformation.

Welcoming America

Offers several webinars, toolkits, links, how-to guides and more to aid communities in welcoming refugees and build meaningful contact.

Refugee Crisis Areas

A thorough list provided by The International Rescue Committee on areas around the world which have a refugee crisis. Clicking on each location will give you information about the region or country, what caused the crisis, what challenges people are facing, and what the IRC is doing to help. 

What Is World Refugee Day?

Information provided by the UNHCR on the history of world refugee day and when it occurs. 

Learn by Taking Quizzes

How the U.S. Legal Immigration System Works

Information provided by Julia Gelatt of the Migration Policy Institute. 

Refugee Resettlement Process

Information provided by Refugee Council USA on steps of the US refugee admissions program. 

Refugee Resettlement 101

Information provided by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society on the US refugee resettlement process. 

News & Political Organizations

Refugees Deeply
This is a timely news source designed to help readers understand the complexities of geopolitics, human rights, environmental, legal and other factors that make the refugee crises among the most challenging of modern times. Its editors and expert contributors bring clarity and insight to their comprehensive coverage of worldwide events.

Vote For Welcome
The global non-profit HIAS is one of the UN’s refugee resettlement agencies in the US.
Jewish Social Services of Madison is HIAS’s local resettlement partner. HIAS has many online tools to help you engage with candidates around refugee issues.
Vote for Welcome asks volunteers to contact candidates of all parties, at all levels, from local to national, to ask how they stand on immigrant issues. Statements are compiled and candidates held accountable when elected.


This is Home: A Refugee Story (documentary)

An intimate portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in America and struggling to find their footing. 

God Grew Tired of Us (documentary)

An award-winning, critically acclaimed documentary that explores the indomitable spirit of three “Lost Boys” from Sudan who are forced to leave their homeland due to a tumultuous civil war. 

Exodus & Exodus: The Journey Continues (documentary)

FRONTLINE tells the epic, first-hand stories of refugees and migrants fleeing countries including Syria, Afghanistan and The Gambia, who made dangerous journeys across 26 countries in search of safety and a better life. The initial two-hour special relied on camera and smartphone footage filmed by refugees and migrants themselves.

The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe’s Refugee Crisis (book)

Patrick Kingsley embeds himself alongside refugees and re-enacts their flight across the choppy Mediterranean in the hopes of better understanding who helps or hinders their path to salvation. Kingsley memorably creates a compassionate, visceral portrait of the mass migration in both its epic scope and its heartbreaking specificity. 

The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives (book)

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Where Will I Live? (book)

A photo-based picture book for younger readers that takes a look at the thousands of children around the world who have been forced to flee war, terror, hunger, sickness, and natural disasters – young refugees on the move with very little left except questions. It’s hard to imagine, but the images here will help unaffected children understand not only what this must feel like, but also how very lucky they are. 

The Ungrateful Refugee; What Immigrants Never Tell You (book)

In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement.