The second episode of season two of Hometown features an interview with Wendy Chan and Vanda Berninger, cochairs for the One Journey Festival in Washington, DC. The mission of the One Journey Festival is to amplify refugee voices and enhance public awareness of refugee talents and contributions. They strive to build enduring allies for refugees and use cultural and technological tools to facilitate human connections between refugees and their host communities. Watch a video about the One Journey Festival here.

Our guest Vanda Berninger, who was born in Croatia, immigrated to Germany in 1991 during the civil war in former Yugoslavia. In Germany, Vanda served as the spokesperson for immigrant and refugee policy for a major German political party in Frankfurt/Main and worked for various development agencies and NGO’s. Currently, Vanda leads strategic partnership efforts for One Journey to influence public perception of refugees in positive/celebratory ways and identify innovative partnership to address humanitarian crises.

Wendy Chan, is the co-founder of NOVA Friends of Refugees, a grassroots coalition dedicated to welcoming refugees. Wendy immigrated to the US from China at age 12. Her humble, blue-collar immigrant background helped her appreciate the courage and tenacity of refugees and see the talents they could bring to America. Wendy leads the nearly 1,000 member interfaith coalition, born out of St. George’s Episcopal Church of Arlington’s Refugee Ministry, in helping refugees through advocacy, social services, and community engagement. She is also a Senior Manager at
Accenture and a parishioner at St. George Episcopal Church. She has an MBA from Wharton, UPenn and an MA from SAIS, Johns Hopkins. She is a recipient of the 2018 Washington Business Journal’s Minority Business Leaders Award.

Learn more about an upcoming event hosted by both The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations and Episcopal Migration Ministries called Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action. This two day gathering June 27 and 28 in Washington DC will provide both messaging and advocacy training, as well as a full day on the Hill advocating on behalf of refugees and the refugee resettlement program. Learn more at

Follow EMM on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we are @emmrefugees.

Join in the work of welcome by making a donation to Episcopal Migration Ministries. No gift is
too small, and all are put to use to welcome our newest neighbors. Visit or text HOMETOWN to 91999.

Our theme song composer is Abraham Mwinda Ikando. Find his music at