BASMA ALAWEE | Recognizing the Collective Power of Refugees

According to a new report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are more than 100 million displaced people in the world. Basma Alawee, who fled Iraq with her husband 12 years ago, argues that civic engagement is central to the long-term success of refugee populations. Now a nationally recognized advocate for policies that support refugee communities, Alawee believes that when we provide opportunities for refugees to share their stories safely and realize their potential as leaders, it fosters a sense of belonging and agency over their lives. As important, by helping refugees make positive changes in their adopted communities, we build not only a more just and vibrant society, but also a stronger, better America.

Basma Alawee

Basma Alawee is the National Campaign Director for We Are All America, and Executive Director of Weavetales. She oversees organizing efforts for policy changes and support for refugee communities with We Are All America in 21 states. In 2019, she founded Weavetales and has helped share the stories of 300+ refugees and immigrants, and developed storytelling training programs. Her lived experiences as a former refugee from Iraq fuels her passion and dedication for advocacy. Basma’s work has earned her much recognition, including Jacksonville’s EVE Award in 2020, Athena40’s "40 Under 40” in 2021, and Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladin in 2022.