By Alexander Wheeler, AsylumConnect Blogger
AsylumConnect is fueled by a team of committed volunteers who live all over the world and bring a breadth of skills, experiences, and perspectives to the organization. Seasoned directors and new associates alike innovate through various mediums to serve LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. by providing a user-centric platform. At AsylumConnect, we face growing pains and celebrate advances together, and it’s important for our users and supporters to know who we are. With this in mind, our blog will feature a profile on one of our team members each month to offer a glimpse behind the scenes of our operation.
Joanna Tasmin is about to celebrate her “sweet sixteen.” She’s a math nerd, design wonk, and also our Creative Director here at AsylumConnect. As Creative Director, Joanna is able to combine her left-brain design style with a lifelong commitment to asylum seekers. She currently lives in Singapore, where she’s a student at United World College, and grew up in the U.S., where her parents sought asylum from Indonesia in 1998.
Joanna remembers listening to her parents’ late-night, adult-only conversations, exposing her to the complicated and frustrating reality of seeking asylum in the U.S. It’s an issue she inherited and, by now, knows by heart. So, when she first heard about AsylumConnect, she knew she had to join the team and lend a hand to the global community working to serve both asylum seekers and promote LGBTQ rights.
At first, she wondered if she was too young and inexperienced to contribute to a global movement. She saw so much that needed to be done and didn’t know where to start. But, instead of waiting to graduate from high school, or even college, she decided to act now. Joanna answered her calling to help some of the most vulnerable members of society, becoming a key member of a team of digital nomads fighting for basic human rights.
Joanna’s tenure with AsylumConnect is her first of many steps along a lifelong path of advocacy and impact dedicated to promoting LGBTQ rights and advancing immigration policy. She’s fighting the systems faced by her parents two decades ago, and LGBTQ asylum seekers today.
AsylumConnect’s team is still growing, and we are actively looking for our next generation of leaders. If you’re passionate about our mission and committed to service, collaboration, and innovation, check out our open associate and director team positions!