1951 Coffee Company, founded in 2015, is a non-profit specialty coffee organization that promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the United States by providing job training and employment to refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.
Our name is derived from the UNHCR’s 1951 Refugee Convention which first defined and set forth guidelines for the protection of refugees. In the spirit of this convention, 1951 Coffee works with refugees to help them overcome the unique barriers they face in seeking and sustaining employment.
Refugees and asylees face challenges in seeking, attaining, and sustaining employment while adapting to their new homes. With minimal training, cultural orientation, and often limited English skills, it is difficult to find employment in a supportive environment. Due to the burdensome financial realities of resettling in the U.S., it is imperative that refugees and asylees secure employment that provides a living wage quickly.
Through our Barista Training Program, employment at our cafe, and ongoing job placement support, we break the barriers refugees and asylees face in pursuing the financial stability needed to have self-determination. Program participants learn more than just how to make quality coffee. They learn vocational English skills, customer service standards, U.S. workplace expectations and responsibilities, in addition to receiving ongoing support as they embark on their new career path.