LSU and Chartwells Higher Ed. Partner to Assist Displaced Immigrants in the Local Community

October 24, 2022

LSU and LSU Dining (Chartwells Higher Education) recently implemented a program designed to provide employment in a safe and inclusive environment for Afghan refugees displaced into Baton Rouge in March 2022.

"This initiative aligns with LSU's commitment to fostering an equitable working environment," said Margot Hsu Carroll, Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services and Co-President of the A/AAPI Faculty and Staff Caucus at LSU. 

In Fall 2021, the LSU Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Caucus expressed their desire to assist recently displaced local refugees. The caucus put LSU Dining in touch with Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge. LSU Dining, with the involvement of the LSU students and community, organized donations of non-perishable goods to refugees through Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge throughout the fall, donating over 700 lbs. of food impacting 16 displaced families. 

In December 2021, LSU Dining began working on creating a pathway for Afghan immigrants to join the LSU Dining team, identifying open positions for which they could apply. 

“From the beginning, it was important for us to create a pathway to help our new associates successfully integrate and thrive in their new home of Baton Rouge”, said Nadeem Zafar, Division President at Chartwells Higher Education. 

By early March 2022, the refugees had arrived in the United States and LSU Dining assisted them with securing all their necessary paperwork from United States Immigration Services. LSU Dining offered positions to seven new associates.

"These families have felt welcomed since arriving into the community,” said J.S., of Catholic Charities and a recent refugee himself who was hired to assist as a translator for Chartwells Higher Education. "Many here still have families back home for whom they need to provide. They are honored to have the chance to not only have a job opportunity but also be able to spread awareness of the hardships they are facing back home."

J.S. has recently begun connecting Chartwells accounts across the country to communities of displaced refugees and individuals looking for employment, becoming a vital resource in LSU and Chartwells Higher Education's plan to expand the program to provide work opportunities to more displaced families that have migrated to the United States.