June 14, 2022, 5pm-7pm


Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, M 212
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016

Literacy Towards Health: Understanding Immigrant and Refugee Patient Perspectives and Experiences in Healthcare

Twelve percent of Virginia's population is made up of immigrants, which drives a need to broaden the experience with immigrant populations and addressing the needs of, and creating relationships with refugees and displaced individuals.

Join us on June 14th as our panelist and presenters will discuss and explore cultural nuances, historical perspectives, and diversity of the immigrant population and the story they tell that are critical when caring for displaced populations.


Katrina Powell

Katrina Powell

Katrina Powell is a professor of English and founding director of the center for refugee, migrant, and displacement studies at Virginia Tech.  She teaches courses in rhetorics of social justice, autobiography, and research methodologies. Her current work focuses on the dissemination of displacement narratives and the ethical dimensions of archiving those narratives in alternative spaces. 

Brett Shadle

Brett Shadle

Brett Shadle is the chair of the history department, and associate director for the center for refugee migrant displacement studies at Virginia Tech. He also serves as an education coordinator for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership. His specialty is African history, and is currently writing a history of Ethiopians who fled their country after the 1935 Italian invasion.

Ahoo Salem

Ahoo Salem 

Ahoo Salem is the Executive Director of Blue Ridge Literacy (BRL), a non-profit organization housed in the Roanoke Main Library Building that offers adult literacy services to foreign and native-born residents of Roanoke Valley. Ahoo is also a member of the Virginia Office of New Americans Advisory Board (ONAAB). In this role, she serves as one of the Board's two Language Access Co-leads and works to provide actionable recommendations addressing the linguistic, cultural, and economic integration of New Americans in the commonwealth of Virginia. 

Bethany Lackey

Bethany Lackey

Bethany Lackey is the director of Roanoke Refugee Partnership and a licensed professional counselor. She is passionate about finding gaps in mental health care within communities in order to organize solutions. Dr. Lackey specializes in trauma and is the director of A Tree Planted Counseling in Roanoke, Virginia. 

Statement about accessibility and accommodation

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible event. All virtual events will have automated captions. Recorded events will have edited captions available soon after the event. If you desire live captioning or a sign language interpreter, please contact the organizer two weeks before the event. 

For in-person events, the main VTCSOM building at Riverside 2 is wheelchair accessible from the elevators inside the parking garage. Blind or visually impaired users may need assistance finding the elevators under the building, or using the stairs in front of the building.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to attend an in-person event, please contact the organizer of the event. All reasonable accommodation requests should be made no less than 2 weeks before the event. We will attempt to fulfill requests made after this date but cannot guarantee they will be met.