JRS | Annual Virtual Gala



When the pandemic hit Jesuit Refugee Service, like so many non-profits, had to adapt their fundraising strategies. SideXSide helped JRS to transform its in-person galas into a robust, online program. Each year the program includes short documentaries produced around the globe, appearances from celebrities (including President Biden), and presentations from JRS staff. Now in its third year, the virtual gala has helped to raise millions for JRS’s vital work around the globe. 

Immaculée in Malawi

Immaculée and her sister fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of safety. They found refuge in Malawi but life in a camp can be a challenge with little opportunity for economic growth. But thanks to JRS’s Digital Inclusion Programme, Immaculée is now a digital entrepreneur and is helping people in her community become economically independent. That is the power of JRS’s education programs.

Ximena in Ecuador

As the Shelter Director at JRS in Ecuador, Ximena works with families who have left their homes in search of a new life. In the Livelihoods Program, she helps people utilize their entrepreneurship skills in things like hairdressing, jewelry, and dressmaking. Ultimately, she is helping provide people hope for safety, security, and happiness.

Talal Silah in Iraq

Talal Silah, a genocide survivor and a young Yazidi man living in Kurdistan, shares his journey of displacement and the lessons of personal experience. Today, Talal is the JRS Protection and Education Director helping to advocate for his community to advance justice, education, and healing.



Kathryn Carlson, Gabriel Silverman

Executive Producer

Jamie Coughlin

Director of Photography

Kathryn Carlson 

Unit Director for Malawi

Zippy Kimundu

Unit Director for Iraq:

George Henton


Deanna Del Ciello


Deanna Del Ciello, Adrian Spencer


Liza Slutskaya, Kathryn Carlson


Marc Nahas

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