Sushma Barakoti has been a leader in the international development and nonprofit sectors for more than two decades. Most recently, Sushma has been the Clarkston Program Coordinator for Emory University’s Start: ME Accelerator Program, where she facilitates entrepreneurs in starting, sustaining, and growing their small businesses. In this role, Sushma has become deeply connected with the refugee and immigrant community in Georgia and throughout her career – whether in an official or volunteer capacity – she has worked closely with refugees in the U.S.
Prior to moving to Atlanta, Sushma served as Assistant Director at the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Scranton, PA – a nonprofit dedicated to ending gender-based violence in northeastern Pennsylvania. Sushma has also held leadership roles at the United Nations Development Programme and PLAN International, where she worked on issues ranging from micro-credits and gender mainstreaming to HIV/AIDS.
Sushma holds a BS in Agriculture from India and Masters in Social Work from Marywood University in PA. She believes in feminist philosophy and practices participatory approach of community development to empower women, men and children. She served as president of Nepali Women's Global Network, North America from 2008 to 2010. She currently sits on the board of Asia Pacific American Council of Georgia (APAC- GA) and is also APAC’s former General Secretary.
AWAZ JABARI, SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT & LEADERSHIP PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Awaz Jabari, is from north of Iraq, has lived in the United States since 1997. She worked as Senior Case Manager/Victim Advocate for the Refugee Family Services Domestic Violence program from 2001 through 2013. She worked as a Self-Sufficiency Manger for Partnership for Community Action. Awaz has managed microenterprise program and employment program. She has received two awards for her outstanding contributions to ending violence against women in Georgia.
Awaz has more than 17 years of experience working in nonprofit sector. She has received extensive training on providing domestic violence services, including Refugee Women’s Network leadership training, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence Legal Advocate and Domestic Violence Advocacy training, GMAAC training for court interpretation, DeKalb Rape Crisis Center training on working with victims of sexual assault, and Client Services and Sensitivity. She has served on different board and committee: she has served as a member of the Policy Team of SAVE (Stop Adolescent Violence and Exploitation), The Interfaith Committee of the DeKalb County Task Force Against Domestic Violence, board member for Partnerhsip for Community Action. Awaz holds a degree in Education from Erbil Community College and a diploma as a Business Office Specialist from DeKalb Technical College. She holds a Certificate of Nonprofit Leadership and a Certificate of Supervision & Management from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Abbey Weil, Economic Empowerment Program Coordinator
Abbey is an Atlanta native and graduated with a B.S. in Human Environmental Sciences and Human Development from the University of Alabama. After graduating, she moved to Prague, Czech Republic and lived there for two years teaching English. While living in Prague and traveling around Europe, she was exposed to the refugee crisis there first-hand and became interested in advocating for and working with refugee populations. After moving back to Atlanta, she started volunteering at New American Pathways as a part of their English at Home program. This experience led her to want to pursue a career empowering women in the Atlanta refugee community, and she was thrilled to join RWN as Economic Empowerment Program Coordinator.