Mission Statement

To provide the education, orientation and support refugees need to become self-sufficient members of society.


The Refugee Development Center (RDC) is a grassroots organization offering formal and informal learning opportunities in an open and inclusive setting. The RDC opened in 2002 because the Greater Lansing community identified service area gaps for newcomer populations seeking self-sufficiency. The common denominator in the gaps identified revolved around education, and hence, the mission of the center was born. Today, the RDC helps serve as the link between newcomer populations and the private, public, and faith-based communities of Ingham County.


Some of the services the RDC provides include:

  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes
  • After school tutoring programs
  • Youth group activities promoting literacy, leadership, and learning
  • School orientations for new arrival families
  • Parent workshops and other opportunities
  • Approximately 300 annual volunteers trained to tutor, mentor and connect with refugees
  • Staff prepared to educate the larger Lansing community regarding refugee issues

PALsfriends      ESL students