DES MOINES, IOWA — Tyson Foods Inc. donated $85,000 to the Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC), which works to support Burma refugees and immigrants in Iowa. Specifically, the funds will go toward a year-long program featuring citizenship and contextualized English as Second Language (ESL) classes.

“Tyson and EMBARC hold a long-standing relationship which has enabled us to provide continuous essential support to our employees and their families,” stated Garrett Dolan, senior manager of social responsibility at Tyson. “The EMBARC team not only helps refugee team members in Perry, Waterloo and Columbus Junction overcome language and cultural barriers, but they are a critical support to help our employees have the services they need to maintain a healthy and safe life at home and in the community.”

The program equips students in preparation for the naturalization exam through virtual lessons that will be supplemented with in-person tutoring, practice sessions and support from EMBARC Navigators speaking Burma languages.

Classes began in December 2022.

“We are proud to offer this unique citizenship class, which meets a need in ethnic Burma community groups across Iowa,” said Abigail Sui, EMBARC executive director. “We are thankful to partners Tyson Foods and Immigrant Connection for uplifting community-centered models that address key barriers faced by our families.”

According to a press release from EMBARC, Tyson has invested more than $2.4 million during the past two years to support EMBARC and other partners in providing immigrants with legal services.