The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are  15-year goals that were determined by the United Nations in 2015.

GL-UNA  “Global Goals: Local Leaders” awards are given each year to deserving people who have been inspirational in at least one  SDG area in their professional and/or personal lives. 

This year’s Global Goals: Local Leader awardee is Judi Harris, Director of Refugee Services at St. Vincent Catholic Charities. 

Judi has made a positive difference in the lives of a multitude of people in the U.S. as well as all over the world for most of her life.  She has done this professionally and personally.  She was a Peace Corp volunteer in Senegal for 2 years and went on as a trainer in Senegal and Cameroon.  She has worked with refugees in Macedonia, Cambodia and Haiti.  

She worked in the national refugee resettlement program in Washington D.C. and since 2008, has been Program Director for Refugee Services at St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing, ensuring that our Lansing refugee population has housing, health care, employment, and education – so that they may move to lead positive, productive lives.  

Judi has done this effectively by partnering with other local organizations as well as by leading and/or establishing new entities such as the Global Institute of Lansing (a high school completion program for refugees) and AFAR (All-Faith Alliance for Refugees). 

Perhaps most inspiring is that more than twelve years ago, Judi moved to Lansing specifically to become a refugee foster parent. Since then, she has provided a secure, happy home for ten young people from five countries, making sure that they are well-educated and ready to lead healthy, effective lives.  

Judi’s co-worker, Denise Sullivan, wrote: “Judi shows her passion for the refugee population in her work and her personal life as a foster parent for unaccompanied minors.  She puts in long hours educating the community on the benefits of helping refugees, helping them to contribute to the economy and lives of others.  She is a role model to her staff, as well as anyone who knows her.  Judi goes above and beyond, is compassionate, caring, and an inspiration to all!”

Please help St. Vincent Catholic Charities in thanking and congratulating GL-UNA Global Goals: Local Leader Awardee Judi Harris!