Who are refugees?
A refugee is "a person outside of his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion."
~USCIS definition taken from 1951 UN Convention on Status of Refugees
Learn more about the resettlement process here.
Owl & Panther was a program of The Hopi Foundation from 1995 to 2017.
The Hopi Foundation began its work with refugee families and children under the Sanctuary Movement during the late 1980's and early 1990's and first worked with families from Guatemala transitioning into the U.S. as a result of torture and trauma experienced in their homeland.
Why "Owl & Panther?"
The owl and panther are honored in some versions of the Cherokee Creation story because they were the only two animals able to stay awake for the seven nights of Creation, the others having fallen asleep. Because of this, both were given the power to see through darkness.
How can I get involved?
- Donate financially to support our programing
- Spread the word about our work
- Follow and repost on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) #owlandpanther
- Attend or participate in our public events (check social media for updated event listings)
- Contribute to O&P on #GivingTuesday and AZ Gives Day. Did you know you can schedule donations ahead of time?
- Host a house party or benefit in support of Owl & Panther (contact Abby@owlandpanther.org )
- Volunteer (contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!)
- Have networking, non-profit fundraising, HR, communication or finance skills along with time to share? Consider joining our Board of Directors or Board subcommittees (email email@example.com with your experience and references)
Where can I donate?
- You can donate to Owl & Panther online, by sending a check by postal mail to Owl & Panther, PO Box 43691, Tucson AZ 85733 or in person at our events
- For in-kind donations, snacks or items for families contact Abby@owlandpanther.org
- To donate art & craft supplies contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Our capacity to store items is quite limited so please inquire first as we may be able to redirect any donations to other organizations in need
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes, Owl & Panther is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, ein: 81-3734234.
How do I volunteer?
We love our volunteers!
Email email@example.com to discuss volunteer roles and to find out when the next new volunteer training will be held.
New volunteers are required to participate in an orientation and training that takes place in mid-August each year. All volunteers participate in training sessions before programming begins for the Spring and Fall semesters.
I'm an artist, how can I collaborate with Owl and Panther?
We generally plan our programming calendar by the semester.
Contact Laila@owlandpanther.org to discuss collaboration opportunities and attending trainings.
Why do I need to attend the orientation and trainings to volunteer or collaborate?
The population we support are intergenerational, multicultural English language learners. These trainings will introduce you to Owl & Panther: who we are, what we do and how we do it. The language(s) we use, the emphasis on process over product, cultural and other considerations necessary when working with O&P.
By providing this information to potential partners up front, limitations and expectations are clear and we can better work together to create engaging experiences.
Can Owl & Panther do a presentation, give a talk or put on a workshop at my organization?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries on fees and availability for trainings, presentations or workshops.
How many participants are there in Owl & Panther?
Owl & Panther is a self-graduation and open door organization. Participants are empowered to leave when they feel it is best for them and return whenever they please. As such, the number of participants served at any given time varies.
I know somebody who I think could benefit from Owl & Panther. How can I get them involved?
Contact Abby at Abby@owlandpanther.org
Is Owl & Panther connected to the Hopi Foundation?
Owl & Panther was a program of The Hopi Foundation from 1995 to 2017. The Hopi Foundation began its work with refugee families and children under the Sanctuary Movement during the late 1980's and early 1990's and first worked with families from Guatemala transitioning into the U.S. as a result of torture and trauma experienced in their homeland. Through 2018, the project has been able to serve children and families from over 35 countries around the world. The Hopi people have a fundamental belief in community through the practice of nami'nangwa and sumi'nangwa - traditional value of helping others in time of need and supporting the community for the benefit of humankind.
Further information on the Sanctuary Movement in Tucson and elsewhere:
- Sancutary at TrackedInAmerica.com
- Central Americans and Asylum Policy in the Reagan Era by Susan Gzesh
- The Sculpture Speaks by Marge Pellegrino
After 20 years of dedication to what became Owl & Panther, Marge Pellegrino has stepped back as Laila and Ami take on programming, collaboration with community partners and volunteer coordination.
With Abby as our Managing Director, and a revitalized Board of Directors, Laila and Ami are excited by the challenge of carrying on Marge's legacy in new directions. Marge will continue to mentor us and assist with outreach, presentations, trainings, and at events. To keep up with Marge’s writing workshops and other events check out her website margepellegrino.com
Marge’s most recent book The Sculpture Speaks was co-written with Owl & Panther founder Marianna Neil and features illustrations by Aida Algosaibi-Stoklos.