Mimi Dalton, President

Born in 1946, raised and educated in Rhode Island, married and had two sons. Moved to New Hampshire in 1972 and had two daughters.

From 1981 to the present Ms. Dalton has been working at St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH in the Information Technology Department ~ currently the Information System Service Manager.

Favorites are enjoying and especially attending sporting events and plays and the beach for sunning, soaking and boating.

Afterglow ~ Unknown

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.

I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,

Of happy times and laughing times

and bright and sunny days.


 Becky Field, Secretary

Becky Field, a photographer from Concord, studies photography at the NH Institute of Art and works full time on her business, FieldWork Photos. She is developing a major photography project illustrating cultural, ethnic and religious diversity in New Hampshire. The project focuses on the strengths and diversity that refugee and immigrant residents bring to New Hampshire communities.

Becky has been director of communications with the American Red Cross in New Hampshire where her photographs were used, both locally and nationally, to support the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. Before that, she was on the research faculty at the University of Massachusetts and taught at Colby-Sawyer College, Plymouth State University, and Brandeis University. She also was a wildlife research ecologist with the US Department of Interior for 20 years.  She has masters and doctorate degrees in wildlife ecology.

Becky’s photographs were displayed in a month-long solo photography exhibit at The Works in Concord in March 2010. Some of her photos of New Americans are currently exhibited at the headquarters of the Lutheran Social Services in Worcester, MA. She will be showing her work at two NH diversity conferences in Spring 2012.

For more information about her photography, visit or contact her at or 603-568-3174.

 Nicole Brookshire

 Eva Ruhara

 MS. in International Economic Development from Southern  New Hampshire University and undergraduate in economics as well as a certificate in Economic Evaluation.
Born in Congo Democratic. I work for the state of Maryland as a Family investment Specialist. Have worked for several non profit organizations and experienced in development, implementation, migration and integration strategies.

Francois Noel Sagna, Executive Director 

F. Noel Sagna, MS. is a retired military policeman from the West African country of Senegal. Having initially received training in aviation service and repair, he served on the force for 13 years engaging in conflict resolution and peace keeping in the country’s Southern Casamance Region, heading administrative, judiciary, and military investigations, mediating resolutions for domestic and business conflicts, and assisting and ensuring security in crisis situations by executing all defense plans during election, political, university, and union riots and supervising the Security teams.  Mr. Sagna also claims advanced  construction skills as he started his own furniture making business, as well as worked with large companies in the United States, constructing clean rooms for microcomputer chip processing, shopping centers and schools.  In addition, Mr. Sagna volunteered time in the United States organizing sports events for the handicap population in the state of New Hampshire and founding the Dizzy Gillespie Foundiation.  Mr. Sagna’s vast expertise was again expanded in Gueckedou, Guinea where he was a consultant for an American NGO, American Refugee Committee, conducting a feasibility study to implement appropriate technology for disabled refugees in the town and surrounding camps.  Later on in Gueckedou, Mr. Sagna joined with Handicap International working on the psycho-social program for youth in Gueckedou and the surrounding camps.  It was during this time that he founded ASPIR with fellow colleagues and friends.  Mr. Sagna continued supporting and promoting ASPIR and refugees when the refugee camps and operations were relocated from Gueckedou to the neighboring town of Kissidougou during the year 1999 - 2001 and returnees from Kailahun, Koidou, Lumpa camp, and Freetown Sierra Leone to establish programs in 2001 to 2004. 

Mr. Sagna returned to New Hampshire USA at ASPIR’s headquarter in 2004 to assist caring his in laws with health issues, while in NH he continued advocating and promoting for youth refugee success, advocating for the refugee mental heath support.    

Provided and developed community fundraising for youth activities; organized and participated in youth after-school activities for middle school and the teen center.

Coordinated community services for court diversion program clients in Hillsboro, NH; evaluated the court diversion effectiveness in NH as a project.

Mr. Sagna was selected as Court Appointed Special Advocate for children (CASA) based upon Americorps supervisor recommendation; completed child behavior training; 2008. He was awarded with a PROCLAMATION of “Francois Noel Sagna Day” at Hillsboro for his Americorps Vista volunteer service, September 11, 2007 .

He participated in numerous committees to develop policies to improve refugee/immigrant life such as: Gate City Health and Wellness Immigrant Integration Initiative of Nashua, the NH Manchester Task Force on Immigrant and Refugee Integration, and the NH Office of Refugee Resettlement School Impact committee at International Institute of New England.

 Mr. Sagna Introduced and donated used recycled computers to low income families to empower their children. Provided mentoring services to high risk youth.Manchester and Concord, NH; Provided liaison services for families reunification. Provided research for implementing effective programs at the New Boston Park and Recreation department.

Planned and coordinated a youth bike race, music and art festival in New Boston for ASPIR  (Association of Sports for the Improvement of Refugees/Returnees).

Advocated with the Deputy Commissioner of Education, the Executive Director of NH Superintendents Board, and the Manchester School District Superintendent for the adequate education of the ELL (English Language Learner) students resettled refugees in NH. Initiated  a monthly meeting at Concord High School to improve the ELL students’ education, and advocated for a mental health support and comprehensive policy. 

Advocated and provided care management to the African High School at-risk youth who are homeless or abused and failed by the judicial, the school, and the human service systems.

Educated numerous students and teachers on West African culture in different Schools such as:  John Stark High School NH, Goffstown High School NH, The Well, Peterborough NH, and the Hillsboro Town library cultural program, Amherst Middle school.

 Pape Cherif Bertrand Bassene, Research and Outreach Director

 Pape Chérif Bertrand Bassène has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Laval (Québec, Canada) and the European University of Brittany (France). He is specialized in comparative history of memory and the issues of transmissions of historical and cultural knowledge in the Senegambia region. Dr. Bassène has met ASPIR in 2006 and its executive director F. Noel Sagna in Senegal where he was trying to open a new regional program office. Bassène was then a DEA (M.A.+2) student and was very interested in the ASPIR programs, the use of sports, culture and education for peace and development policies in the sub-region where, when he became a Ph.D. candidate, he committed to extend his research on the history and local places of cultural memories.

Besides, for his post-doctoral appointment in 2011, Dr. Bassène has worked on post-electoral crises in West-Africa for Imagine Africa Institute. He kept on studying the issues of organisation and transformations of sociopolitical systems in areas of stateless society’s heritage in the Senegambia-Guinea region. It is a crucially important issue to understand the roots of low level conflicts that still have remaining consequences in the geographical area. It has been an area of socio-political upheaval since the ending process of the colonial penetration and the growing importance of a more and more global system.

Dr. Bassène has an extensive experience both in field work and research. He has spent most of his time on the field, being interested in a variety of areas such as oral histories, traditional dances, music and sports like women's traditional wrestling very present in Casamance which can be used as a national sport, just like the popular men's wrestling and as a source of social cohesion in the service of the modern States. Thus, his researches have contributed to the publication in French of an original reflection on the ancient unity of the sub-region through the study of the richness and diversity of its Cultures under the title "Authentic History of the Casamance", La Brochure, Nov. 2011.