Just Neighbors Says Goodbye to Executive Director, Allison Rutland Soulen

Allison Rutland Soulen will be leaving Just Neighbors. As many of you know, Allison was a founder of Just Neighbors in 1996. She has held a variety of positions over the years as she has helped to shape this vibrant organization. We will miss her, but we know that she leaves behind a strong organization to carry on the important work she began.

Allison writes: “I cherish my years at Just Neighbors, from the early days (when survival was not a given) to the middle and later years of a thriving organization. My interactions with clients and colleagues and volunteers and friends and supporters of Just Neighbors have enriched my life. I thank you all for helping to make Just Neighbors and my work here possible. Just Neighbors holds a special place in my heart.

My family will be moving to the Atlanta area in June, where my husband, Kendall Soulen, has accepted a faculty position at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. (We met on the steps of the library of Candler, when we were both students at Emory.) While living in Atlanta after college, some other individuals and I helped two young men from Africa file applications for asylum. It was that encounter that propelled me to law school. Several of us had wanted to help these strangers fleeing violence in their home country, but none of us had the expertise. So a church arranged for us to have a consultation with an immigration attorney, and he provided the guidance we needed to file the successful applications. Unbeknownst to me, that was the seed for my role in Just Neighbors. I am interested to see what will sprout when I return to Atlanta after 30 years.”

In preparation for a smooth transition as Allison leaves, the board of Just Neighbors has launched a search for a new executive director. The job description is posted on the Careers page of our website at this link: http://www.justneighbors.org/careers-3/

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The mission of Just Neighbors is to provide immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees in Virginia, especially those who are most vulnerable. We also seek to foster enriching experiences that enhance awareness and mutual understanding among our clients, volunteers, staff and community.

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