SDRCC Social Media Internship Summer 2021

The San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition recruited youth and young adults ages 16-24 to be part of a team of Social Media Interns. The program started June 15th and ran until August 27th. The final cohort was made up of 13 youth from ages 15-20 spanning across 10 different refugee and immigrant communities who had previous experience with content creation and active social media presences.

The team worked to promote the national “We Can Do This” Public Education Campaign with the aim of increasing public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Participants were tasked with taking information from this campaign and adapting it for a younger demographic, specifically targeting peers from their own communities.

In our cohort, 11 languages were represented: English, Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Tamizh/Tamil, Hindi, Karen, Tagalog, Kizigua, Somali, and Chaldean/Aramaic. The interns used their multilingual skill sets to translate existing content, and also create new content that accurately represented and spoke to the native languages and cultural practices of their communities. Over the course of the internship, the youth met with SDRCC staff on a weekly basis to share content, provide feedback, and research ideas for messaging in order to create and post at least two pieces of social media content per week. Throughout this process, the interns recorded the metrics of their content and adapted their methods to increase engagement. The internship concluded with an Exit Survey, where the cohort members reflected on their experiences and had a chance to give feedback on the program.

Opening of the Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs

On June 7th, the County of San Diego Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Nora Vargas presented their proposal for the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs at a press conference held at the County Administration Building. The SDRCC was among several supporters of the proposal. Executive Director for the Karen Organization of San Diego Nao Kabashima spoke at the press conference in support of the proposal, highlighting the need for an office in San Diego.


The mission of the OIRA is to provide resources and information to refugees and immigrants who are new arrivals to San Diego County with the goal of connecting individuals and families to local service providers. The office will be managed by the County Refugee Coordinator. This office will be an important asset to the County and the work we do, especially considering the diversity of San Diego’s refugee and immigrant communities.


During the press conference, Supervisor Fletcher stated: “We are creating a framework for our future that ensures San Diego County is welcoming and everyone feels like they belong.”

Supervisor Vargas also spoke at the press conference: “As the first immigrant elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors it is an honor to champion an initiative so personal to me,” Vargas also stated, “To fulfill our vision of creating stronger and healthier communities, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs will work for everyone by creating a central hub of services and resources and uplift the positive contributions that our immigrant and refugee communities have on our economy and culture.”