National Center For Civil And Human Rights CEO Talks Refugees

by Myke Johns, WABE

“The Center did a fantastic job choosing an African young boy to be the head of it,” Derreck Kayongo chuckles, referring to his recent installation as CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Kayongo, after all, has a lifetime of experience with the subject.

derreck_kayongo_headshotAt age 10, Kayongo and his family fled the Ugandan Civil War and became political refugees who eventually settled in the United States. He went on to receive a Masters of Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University at age 22, and went on to work with Amnesty International and CARE in the Southeast before founding the Global Soap Project, which recycles and distributes soap in an effort to bring basic hygiene to those who lack access to it around the world.

Kayongo sat down with Valerie Jackson to talk about the importance of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, his goals as CEO and his thoughts on serving the refugee population in America.

“America is built on people who miss home,” Kayongo says. “They were British, they were German, they were Italian … they all miss home. But now is a time for you to learn to become an American.”

This article was originally posted by Myke Johns, WABE 90.1. For the full interview with Valerie Jackson click here.