American Association of Refugee and Immigrant Women
P.O. Box 95
Nashville TN 37011
Mission Statement
The American Association of Refugee and Immigrant Women is a nonprofit organization of multi-ethnic mutual assistance associations in Nashville dedicated to addressing issues of vital concern as identified by refugees and immigrants and providing services not available through other social service programs.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Aida Kapetanovic
Board Chair Ms. Aida Brcic Kapetanovic
Board Chair Company Affiliation World Relief
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2000
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $56,654.00
Projected Annual Revenue $63,644.00 (2010)
Mission The American Association of Refugee and Immigrant Women is a nonprofit organization of multi-ethnic mutual assistance associations in Nashville dedicated to addressing issues of vital concern as identified by refugees and immigrants and providing services not available through other social service programs.
Background The AARIW (American Association of Refugee & Immigrant Women) is a multiethnic, self-help organization, assisting refugee and immigrant women in the Nashville Metropolitan Area to achieve social and economic self-reliance. The AARIW is an outgrowth of the Woman from the Balkans group which began to organize itself in January 2000 with the goal of bringing women to support each other, share information and socialize. No other organization has been able to bring together, address and articulate the needs and concerns of such a diverse group of international women. In line with the AARIW vision and objectives to empower women through education, AARIW set up various workshops and classes on topics of importance to its members. These have included: women’s health, employment, homeownership opportunity, fair housing rights, domestic violence, Citizenship classes, computer classes, English classes, and sewing classes. On yearly basis AARIW has sponsored the Friendship International Dinner, as a means to bring refugee and immigrant women together with American friends and provide a unique opportunity for networking by experiencing what other cultures stand for. Our most recent focus has been on providing assistance to, and engaging in advocacy on behalf of, refugee and immigrant women experiencing barriers to accessing mainstream resources in Nashville. We are also committed to building trust within and between the participating ethnic groups, which range from Africa to Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and various religions traditions, from Islamic to Christian and Catholics. The organization utilizes the skills and support of American-born women in linking AARIW members to local resources to address the issues we face as we more effectively integrate into the Nashville community. Our membership is comprised of women from over 25 different countries around the world. Since our formation in 2000, over three hundred refugee and immigrant women have participated in the events, workshops and classes we have sponsored to address the critical issues we are facing.
1) Computer classes have been very successful with more than 120 having completed a course.
2) More than 150 individuals have enrolled in English classes.
3) Held an employment conference in 2005 for refugee and immigrant women that welcomed 150 participants.

1) Establish Train the Trainer program with World Relief to train volunteers to assist others in completing immigration paperwork and naturalization classes.
2) Get funding to expand health services for refugee and immigrant women.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Ethnic/Immigrant Services
Secondary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Civil Rights
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Davidson
CEO Statement Refugee and immigrant women living in Nashville need to know more about how to help themselves move forward economically and socially in the Nashville community by supporting each other and sharing information regarding available resources and services. Our conference, training sessions and workshops are designed to address this need. As a result, we expect, refugee women will be able to pursue a career, access the necessary education and skills along the way, thus improving our standard of living, our health and well-being and our sense of security and that of our families. The on-going monthly support meetings, workshops and classes are carried out by AARIW in a supportive environment designed to address the emotional, social and economic needs of refugee women through a self-empowerment model. These activities are particularly crucial to refugee and immigrant women because resettlement agencies can only formally work with them for 190 days after their arrival in the U.S. Our work has truly just begun. We have plans to expand our efforts to link AARIW members to better paying jobs, career opportunities and expanded educational credentials during the upcoming year in partnership with the Career Advancement Center and others. Although there may be other organizations emerging in Nashville with an interest in providing similar services and support to refugee and immigrant women, none are in a position to do what we do - to speak for ourselves about our needs and that of our family members and to bring the resources of the Nashville community to refugee and immigrant women in a supportive environment in which we can learn and grow together. We believe this model results in our being able to move forward economically and socially while improving our standard of living, health and well being. However, we believe we deserve support because of our unique approach, our distinctive needs, and our status as a special population of women, refugees and immigrants.
Description Ongoing classes for immigrant and refugee women, covering all issues regarding citizenship and immigration.
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy Immigrants' Rights
Population Served Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees, Female Adults,
Description Workshop focused on issues particular to refugee and immigrant women, facilitated by outside speakers.
Category Health Care Patient Education
Population Served Female Adults, Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees,
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Aida Brcic Kapetanovic
Company Affiliation World Relief
Term Jan 2008 to Jan 2009
Board Members
Ms. Sandra Arnautovic StudentVoting
Ms Zaira Benti Barosso First Acceptance InsuranceVoting
Ms. Aida Brcic Kapetanovic World ReliefVoting
Ms. Nonye Ejiofor Bastion, Inc.Voting
Ms. Hanaa Hamed World ReliefVoting
Ms. Sumedija Jusufovic Real Estate BrokerVoting
Dr. Emir Kapetanovic Medical Doctor, ConsultantVoting
Ms. Yadira Santana Catholic Charities - Bridge ServicesVoting
Mr. Veljko Sarenac Centennial HospitalVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 3 European and Middle Eastern
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 60%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? No
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 0%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Additional Board Members
Mr Alen Brcic Vanderbilt University
Ms. Glendora Bright Executive Secretary
Ms Amy Holt Metro School Teacher
Mr Emir Kapetanovic M.D.Vanderbilt University
Ms Linda Manning Vanderbilt University Women's Center
Ms. Marla Thompson GENEC Communication
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Aida Kapetanovic
Term Start Jan 2000
Experience Aida’s mission to help refugee and immigrant women originates in her own experience as an immigrant. When war broke out in the early 1990s in her home of Croatia, she and her family fled to Hungary and subsequently Austria. Ultimately, Aida and her family applied to come to the United States as refugees in 1997. The adjustment to life in Nashville was very difficult and the family suffered many financial, emotional and physical setbacks. Aida worked diligently to provide for her family and learn English. Her diligence brought her to work at Metro Social Services and eventually World Relief as a caseworker. Like many refugee women, she had little knowledge of where to go for help, how to find resources to improve her family’s situation or how to access information. Aida’s own experience pushed her to provide support to other refugee and immigrant women. What started in 2000 as Women from the Balkans became the American Association for Refugee and Immigrant Women (AARIW), a group that welcomes refugee women from all over the world. Aida has received extensive training in immigration and citizenship laws and is certified by the Board of Immigration Appeals. She received a Master’s Degree in Marketing & International Business and B.Sc. in Economics and International Business Management from the University of Sarajevo.
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 25
Contractors 2
Retention Rate 0%
Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition2001
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2009
Fiscal Year End June 30 2010
Projected Revenue $63,644.00
Projected Expenses $56,654.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$66,598$71,734$109,576
Administration Expense$16,650$17,935$27,395
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.991.001.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%80%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$934$1,556$1,111
Current Assets$64$1,556$1,111
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$9,674$9,614$9,614
Total Net Assets$0($8,058)$8,503
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.010.160.12
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2009 Financial Comments
Financial figures are taken from the 990. 990 prepared by Wayne Reed CPA.
Foundations and Corporations included with Individual contributions.
Deficit on Line 18 of 2009 990 ($1,694).
Comment provided by Kirsten Joyner 03/2010.
Nonprofit American Association of Refugee and Immigrant Women
Address P.O. Box 95
Nashville, TN 37011
Primary Phone (615) 823-5460
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Aida Kapetanovic
Board Chair Ms. Aida Brcic Kapetanovic
Board Chair Company Affiliation World Relief
Year of Incorporation 2000

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