“We are embodying one part of the mission of Islamic Relief,” says Christina Tobias-Nahi, director of IRUSA’s public affairs team.
Other staff members focus on the relief and development parts of the mission. Tobias-Nahi’s job is the part where it talks about giving people a voice in the world.
“The role of our staff here on the public affairs team is really to be that voice for those vulnerable and marginalized populations,” she says on this week’s episode of “What a Relief!”
Mordant responds, “So PA is kind of the PR of IRUSA, and that’s a lot of acronyms.”
And with that, the podcast is (mostly) done with acronyms and on to what it really means to give people a voice in the world.
IRUSA’s public affairs team meets with government representatives, faith-based groups and other NGOs to raise awareness of issues — including the social-justice issues at the heart of many of emergencies. The team works with other groups from Catholic Charities to American Jewish World Service to amplify messages of caring.
Mordan asks how this work is received.
“A lot of the issues we advocate around are common issues that are of concern to everyone in the community … they’re issues of poverty and hunger, for example,” Tobias-Nahi says. “And so when we get out there and talk about what our perspective is, it’s often very well received … We are just amplifying our voices together and putting more pressure for everyone to care.”
Tobias-Nahi points out that while IRUSA is grateful to be able to provide emergency relief, projects like food distributions are a temporary solution. “So through advocacy we’re trying to address systemic problems,” she says.
An example of this work was a tent IRUSA set up last March near the White House Washington, D.C., last year, to bring attention to the Syria crisis. People wandering by could check out what it’s like inside a refugee tent and see photos taken by staff at refugee camps.
On this week’s podcast, find out what it was like inside the refugee tent on a cold, windy March day.
Find out what Red Nose Day is and if humor has any place in serious topics.
Find out what the public affairs team is doing related to the upcoming election.
Find out one of the things Mordant likes most about working with IRUSA, and what B.C. was dying to say since the beginning of the episode.
“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Co-hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge, and Mordant Mahon, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!
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