Stories of Change

Top: NCDRN meets via zoom for their monthly meetings, Middle: Daniela (right) high fives fellow staff member, Jonitka Hall, Bottom: CWS DDP Team in Asheville delivering disaster preparedness training for Spanish speakers in the community

Turning Passion into Meaningful Action

For the last few years, Daniela Archibold has worked alongside immigrant communities in North Carolina as our Migrant Emergency Services Manager. Daniela describes herself as a “very passionate person” and told us, “ever since I can remember, I wanted to in some way help individuals. This job gives me the opportunity to create change at small scales and hopefully, in the long run, at a bigger systemic scale.” This passion is recognizable in the work Daniela does on CWS’ Domestic Disaster Program team. 

On this team, Daniela and her fellow staff explore and address existing barriers to disaster response in immigrant communities. One of the main barriers Daniela’s team has identified is language access. To overcome this barrier, Daniela and her team help communities with limited English proficiency to understand the different emergency alerts and how to react to them. They do this through workshops and by sharing information in people’s native language (Daniela herself is a native Spanish speaker). The team also maintains communication with the affected communities in the aftermath of a disaster through various platforms including WhatsApp and Facebook. 

To establish clear communication and strong relationships with these communities, CWS works closely with local organizations.  These organizations include AMEXCAN and the Disaster Recovery Network in North Carolina. Both share CWS’s mission to include and assist immigrant communities in emergency response and preparedness. 

Juvencio is the director of AMEXCAN and a leading member of NCDRN. He shared with us that the organizations he’s a part of are community-based and grassroots-oriented. This is something he expressed pride in as he understands the importance and value of local organizations. 

Like Daniela, Juvencio is passionate about his work and is driven by “the injustice that happens in rural communities and marginalized communities.” Through a grant from CWS, AMEXCAN has been able to hire a Disaster Coordinator and expand the services it provides to marginalized communities. “This partnership took us to a different level,” Juvencio stated.

The NC Inclusive Disaster Recovery Network hosts monthly meetings via Zoom in which Daniela partakes. These meetings allow community members to share any needs they might have and helps CWS and its partners stay connected with their neighbors. Daniela also collaborated with the group by writing recommendations to the Emergency Management Director of North Carolina to better support Spanish-speaking Communities during a disaster cycle. She continues to share her wealth of knowledge and expertise by speaking with other local disaster relief organizations about the importance of disaster relief and preparedness for immigrant communities. 

Together, Daniela and Juvencio are making a meaningful impact in communities that are often forgotten. “CWS gives voices to people who in many instances are fearful to speak their voice or who have additional barriers,” Daniela remarked. She added, “CWS is not only supporting a specific pool of individuals, but it’s also supporting diverse communities. These diverse communities are the essence of this country.” 

See our DDP team’s recent workshop titled “Delivering Culturally Competent Services for Immigrant Populations Through the Disaster Cycle” here.