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Our Story

The Refugee & Migrant Women’s Initiative–RAMWI (Pronounced ram-wee) is a Not for Profit & 501(c)(3) Charity started in 2013. Our mission is to bring together refugee & migrant women and their families. Doing so, we empower, engage and support women who are new to the Tampa Bay area during the difficult phases of resettlement and transition.

Our Mission

Is to enhance the lives of refugee and migrant women in the community by providing an opportunity to heal, engage with others while learning the skills necessary to become self-sustainable, organize and advocate for themselves.

RAMWI offers women the opportunity to come together in a welcoming and supportive environment that allows growth and healing. Together our women gain the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate through their new communities.  We also advocate for refugees’ direct participation in decision-making bodies that are impacting their daily lives.


My name is Florence Ackey, and I am the Founding Director for Refugee & Migrant Women's Initiative, Inc. (RAMWI). When I formed RAMWI, in 2013, my goal was to create a supportive community for newly arrived refugee, migrant, and other vulnerable women in Tampa Bay. 

To date, RAMWI has served over 700 women and families, from 17 countries. The unique programming provided by RAMWI addresses the logistical needs of refugee and migrant women in our community through skill-building workshops and economic self-development, while also providing opportunities for social support and personal healing through Support Groups. 

Our Board of Directors, many devoted volunteers, and amazing community partners work together to ensure that our programs empower women to preserve their cultural identity as they settle within the Tampa Bay area and develop new skills and connections in the community. 

However, it is the knowledge, perseverance, and hope shared by each woman participating in the programs which is the catalyst for our success. Through their self-advocacy and self-development, program participants are able not only to foster growth, healing, and success within their own lives but also have the ability to impact the lives of other refugee and migrant women in their community.


If you would like to support our mission of enhancing the lives of refugee and migrant women in the community by providing opportunities to heal, connect with others, and learn valuable skills for economic and self-development, I invite you to contact us. We welcome your donation of time, expertise, and/or resources.

Thank you-

Meet the Board & Staff

Our Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders with expertise in a wide range of areas. The Board meets monthly. It is responsible for taking care of the strategic and financial health of the organization on an ongoing basis. Board terms are two years and officers are elected annually. For more information, contact For full board member biographies, see the board of directors page.


Florence Ackey,


Member at Large

Executive Director & Founder


Elizabeth A. Dunn, MPH, CPH

Board Vice President
Instructor, USF College of Public Health


Michael Jimenez, CPA

President, Jimenez CPA Inc


Courtney Erickson

Member at large
Director of Social Enterprise


Elizabeth Blanco

Member at Large

Associate General Counsel,

Employment Law-

Raymond James


Jennifer Miner Knippen


Member at Large

Co-Director of Eckerd College                  St. Pete Center

Associate Professor of Mngment


April McCullohs

Board President


Absara Ghebremicael

Member at Large


Gisele Lewis

Sewing Coordinator - Tampa



Member at Large



Member at Large



Member at Large

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