56955 exodus benefit march 1 at upland
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Ron Kadish

Helping the Newest Hoosiers: Local Business and Academic Community Hold Two Refugee Benefits

Celebrate the music, food, and culture of Africa and the Middle East on March 1 and 4, 2017, to support Exodus Refugee and Catholic Charities

Indiana is home to people from around the world who have sought and found a safe harbor. It’s been that way for decades. Recent developments have brought to light the need for funding and support, as refugees start a new chapter as part of our great community. Town and gown are coming together to provide a warm welcome to people fleeing violence and persecution.

“Those of us who run international businesses from Bloomington understand the importance of our reputation worldwide,” says rock paper scissors CEO Dmitri Vietze, who initiated an online fundraising campaign for Exodus. “But really any local Indiana business should be thinking about welcoming newcomers and how important that is in stopping the Indiana brain drain. Why not start with those in need most: refugees; people who will gladly help build America into its fullest potential?”

Bloomington businesses have joined forces with IU student organization No Lost Generation to create two events in March to help refugee Hoosiers.

March 1: With generous support from Upland Brewery, Bloomington pr firm rock paper scissors will host a meet-and-greet session with the musicians of The Nile Project ( Called “a committed, euphoric international coalition” (New York Times), the group unites musicians from countries and communities up and down the Nile, including Sudan. They will perform a mini-set and hold an informal chat session. Indy’s globetrotting DJ Kyle Long will spin. Exodus director Cole Varga will also speak. 7 PM. $10 donation at the door, benefitting Exodus.

Tickets are available at

March 4: Bloomington’s international restaurants, including Falafels, Sofra, Pourhouse, Anatolia, and Little Tibet, will offer a taste of the world. Local world music darlings Salaam will perform original and tradition-inspired music from across the Middle East. 4:30-7:30 PM at the Pourhouse. $25 donation at the door, to benefit Exodus and Catholic Charities.

More information at

“Exodus and Catholic Charities provide refugees who have already made their home in Indy with vital services,” notes Marine Brichard, IU student and member of No Lost Generation. “Families receive case management, employment, education, and mental wellness support. Exodus and Catholic Charities promised to welcome and support them in rebuilding their lives in Indianapolis. No Lost Generation wants to help them keep that promise."

“We at rock paper scissors are a small Hoosier business, but we work internationally,” explains Tristra Newyear Yeager of rock paper scissors. “That not only makes great economic sense, but it enriches our professional and personal lives as well. We want to share that wealth with our newest neighbors, to welcome them, and bring together the community in support of a more internationally aware, globally informed way of being a Hoosier. I can’t think of anything more American than that.”