Nobody wants to start over. If we had a choice, we would be home. We want to be accepted, we want to belong.

About the speaker

With a degree in Human and Social Development from the University of South Africa and firsthand experience of the challenges of resettling in Grand Rapids a few years ago, Shadia brings an informed, compassionate, and needed perspective to the work of Treetops Collective—she was also their first board member. In her everyday life, Shadia works in the refugee community both with an educational organization and a translation service. She plans to pursue a Masters in Community Leadership.

We’re partnering with Treetops Collective to put on February’s event. Immediately following our event, a visit to their studio space (906 Division Ave. South, Grand Rapids, MI 49507) is being offered. If you’d like to take part, please email

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