June 29, 2021
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson Announces “New American and Refugee Liaison”
Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson announced today the addition of Joseph Genda to the Mayor’s Office as the New Americans Liaison.
Genda came to Utah in 2007, a refugee from Sierra Leone where he was born and studied. When war broke out in his youth, he fled some 70 miles on foot to neighboring Guinea where he lived in a refugee camp, teaching to children in the camp for several years until violence in Guinea meant he and his family would have to relocate to a refugee resettlement camp in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He studied Accounting at the University of Sierra Leone while his wife, herself a refugee from Liberia was admitted to Utah under refugee status in 2005.
After arriving in Salt Lake County, Genda got involved with a local afterschool program that he encouraged his son to attend to better learn the language and socialize. And after graduating from the University of Utah in 2015, Genda began work with Promise South Salt Lake as a site coordinator over the afterschool program at Meadowbrook Stem Center. Through these programs, he was able to work closely with immigrant and refugee communities to build bridges with community partners, city, and nonprofit leadership. He comes to Salt Lake County eager to further those relationships and to continue the work of providing resources to New American communities throughout the county.
“After working at a local government level for 6 years, I can appreciate the big picture view that Salt Lake County offers to better serve New Americans countywide. I am excited to continue working with members of my refugee communities and similar groups of New Americans and I hope to help make them successful by connecting them with resources available throughout Salt Lake County.”
Mayor Wilson echoed that excitement, adding, “We are fortunate in Salt Lake County to live in a growing and diverse community with so many critical resources available to refugees, immigrants, and others who may be adapting to life here. Joseph’s experience and passion for helping New Americans will further our mission of expanding opportunities and ensuring equitable access to services and programs offered by Salt Lake County and our Partners.”
Genda joins the Mayor’s Office after nearly six years as a coordinator with Promise South Salt Lake, working with community organizations and building programs for underserved youth and families.
Genda holds a degree in Economics from the University of Utah and a degree in Accounting from the University of Sierra Leone. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and four children. He is fluent in Mende and Krio.
Genda’s first day with the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office was Monday, June 28, 2021.