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AT&T Relate

Connecting Families. Spreading Love.

Allison Buehler
Ben Qin
Sahana Ramkumar
Sindhu Senthilkumar
Humza Sohail
Table of Contents

Executive Summary 2

Introduction 2

Background 7

Proposal 10

Budget 12

Staffing 13

Frequently Asked Questions 15

Conclusion 16

Works Cited 17

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Executive Summary
The Issue
Refugees are individuals who flee from their countries of origin in order to escape persecution
or physical harm. The refugee crisis is currently at an all-time high in the United States, which is
the top resettlement country. In 2016, the United States admitted more than 80,000 refugees,
with Texas resettling the highest percentage of those refugees out of any other state. In
addition, Dallas-Fort Worth resettled more refugees than any other metropolitan area in the
country.

Who We Are
AT&T, a Fortune 500 company, is a global leader in technology, media, and
telecommunications. Not only to we offer top-tier services in this industry, we also have
previously implemented successful projects that address the social needs of our community.
AT&T Aspire, for example, provides opportunities for students to reach their full educational
potential. In addition, the “It Can Wait” campaign promotes safe and distraction-free driving in
order to reduce automobile accidents.

Our Idea
Our company mission is “to connect people with their world everywhere they live, work and
play – and do it better than anyone else.” Therefore, we believe that we are the most capable
in assisting the growing refugee population in the Dallas area. We are proposing a program that
will allow refugees in the area to communicate and connect with their families during the
holiday season across borders and/or overseas through the use of cellular phones. Each phone
will come equipped with a prepaid international SIM card that will be activated for 30 minutes
per day for the entire month of December.

Our Goal
In our society, we are fortunate enough to be close to our families and friends. We hope that
this program, titled “AT&T Relate,” will give these refugees in the Dallas area a sense of
connection, love, and hope in a place where they feel the most vulnerable. We believe AT&T, as
a strong business in the communication industry, is the most suited to accomplish this goal.
Giving these individuals the ability to reconnect with their loved ones allows them to feel more
at home in the most foreign place.

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Introduction
Thousands of families around the world are forcibly separated from each other every day.
These individuals come to be known as refugees. Refugees are defined as “[individuals] who
[flee] to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution” (Refugee | Definition,
2017). The United States is the global leader in the resettlement of these individuals. Contrary
to popular belief, refugees come from The following images illustrate where the refugees come
from and where they primarily settle in the United States, respectively:

(Source: SmithsonianMag.com)

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(Source: SmithsonianMag.com)

The first graph shows that these individuals come from many countries around the world,
proving that persecution and potential danger are present in more places than one. Refugees
escape from their countries of origin in order to find safe havens for themselves and their
families. The United States alone has resettled approximately 895,000 refugees between 2001
and 2016 (Zong, 2017). The second graph illustrates that America is a very attractive place for
these individuals to relocate. Texas in particular ranks as one of the most popular refugee
resettlement states in the nation. Specifically in 2016, the Lone Star State resettled the greatest
number of refugees than any other state, with Dallas-Fort Worth resettling the most refugees
compared to any other metropolitan area in the country (Alpert, 2017; Vestal, 2017).

However, before refugees can settle in the United States, they must endure a long, complicated
vetting process that consists of eleven different steps:

Step One: Registration


The United Nations registers refugees from countries around the world.

Step Two: First Interview


The State Department conducts interviews with the applicants to start the application process.

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Step Three: First Security Check
The applicants are screened for any malicious behavior or connections by various organizations
such as the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department.

Step Four: Second Interview


The Department of Homeland Security conducts secondary interviews with the applicants and
collects their fingerprints.

Step Five: Biometric Tests


The fingerprints collected during the second interview are checked against various databases.

Step Six: Medical Tests


The applicants are screened for contagious diseases.

Step Seven: Cultural Orientation Classes


The applicants attend cultural orientation classes to learn what to expect after entering the
United States.

Step Eight: Location Assignment


The applicants are assigned to locations in the United States with the help of nonprofit
partners, who will continue to help them through the resettlement process.

Step Nine: Second Security Check


Because months or years have passed since the first security check, the applicants are screened
a second time.

Step Ten: Travel


The refugees make their way to the United States, being screened by U.S. Customs and Border
Protection and TSA along the way.

Step Eleven: Arrival


The refugees are settled in the United States by the nonprofit partners. They must apply for
green cards within a year in order to put them on the path to citizenship (Vestal, 2017).

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In 2012, a Sudanese family went through this vetting process in order to find a better way of
life. Dyan, his wife Alik, who was pregnant at the time, and their two children began their lives
as refugees when they fled from their home in the Sudan. They were then separated from each
other in the refugee camps in northern Africa. Dyan and Alik lost all documentation of their
marriage, so Dyan was filed as a single man, while Alik was filed as a single mother. Therefore,
Alik was able to make the journey to the United States with the children, but Dyan was stuck in
the camp in Egypt. When Alik arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, her and the
children were placed in the care of Molly and Mary Claire through the help of a refugee
resettlement agency named Catholic Charities. Shortly after arriving, Alik gave birth, and she
was left wondering if her newborn son would ever be able to meet his father. Four years passed
before Dyan was able to come to Dallas in November of 2016. The family had a tearful reunion
at the airport, and Dyan dropped to his knees and thanked God for bringing his family back
together (Dyan Comes Home, 2017; Andros, 2016).

The aforementioned data prove that North Texas is a prime location for pilot programs to
improve the lifestyle and wellbeing of the individuals and families, such as Dyan and Alik’s, who
now call the area their home. We, as AT&T, are proposing a pilot program that will give the
refugees in the DFW metroplex the ability to connect and communicate with their loved ones
across borders through the use of cellular phones, which come equipped with prepaid
international SIM cards, during the month of December. We hope that you, the Dallas Regional
Chamber, will help us spread love this holiday season and make this project a reality.

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Background
Who We Are
AT&T is a Dallas-based Fortune 500
Company. We deliver advanced mobile
services, next-generation television, high-
speed Internet, and smart solutions for
people and businesses. We are the world’s
largest communication company based on
revenue.
(Source: ATT.com)

Company Statistics

141 → The number of years AT&T has been improving the way people communicate
200 → The number of years we have been providing talk, text, and data coverage
1,600,000 → The number of hours of mentoring that has been provided to
students by AT&T employees since 2012.

5,400,000 → The number of total volunteer hours recorded by AT&T employees


and retirees in 2016.

139,000,000 → The amount of dollars we contributed through corporate,


employee, social investment, and AT&T Foundation programs
in 2016.

We are committed to the development, growth, and improvement of our country. We are
investing billions of dollars into the economy while providing high-quality jobs to over 200,000
people in the U.S. alone. We are supporting the veterans who make our country stronger and
providing disaster relief support to those who need it the most. We have invested more in the
future of our country than any other public company.

Previous Campaigns
We're also improving lives by supporting our local communities. We want to raise high school
graduation rates, and we’re preparing students for college and careers through our signature
education initiative, AT&T Aspire. To date, we’ve committed $400 million to the program (AT&T

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Aspire, n.d.). In addition, our “It Can Wait” campaign has inspired more than 19 million people
to pledge that they will never text and drive.

(Source: ATT.com)

(Source: ATT.com)

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Our Mission

To connect people with their world,


everywhere they live, work and play -
and do it better than anyone else.
As previously mentioned, Texas is home to the highest number of refugees (approximately
9,000) compared to any other state in the nation, with North Texas having the highest
proportion of those refugees out of any other metroplex in the nation. While this isn’t an issue
that can be just be solved, we would like to assist these refugees as they start a new life in an
unknown environment, thousands of miles away from their loved ones. As a company
dedicated to connecting people, we are hoping to help connect these families separated by
borders by providing free international phone calls for DFW refugee families over the holiday
season (Company Overview, n.d.).

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Proposal
We have recognized the current need in our society to connect refugee families separated by
borders. Through our project, we aim to address the situation in a humanizing manner that
brings people together, not divides them. We are proposing to give refugee families in the DFW
area cellular phones that come equipped with prepaid international SIM cards. This will allow
them to reconnect with family members that they cannot physically be present with during the
holiday season. In order to make a greater impact on all of these families, we plan on having
this program present through the month of December. Each sponsored family is provided with
30 minutes of international talk time per day, every day, for this one-month period. This will
allow them to truly reconnect with their loved ones and strengthen their bonds over an
extended period of time.

Throughout the implementation of this pilot program, we have taken extensive measures to
ensure that families have a smooth, hassle-free experience. As a part of this, we believe that all
families should feel the selection process in which they will partake is fair. We do not want
certain families in the community to feel that they have have been left out in an unfair manner;
otherwise, this program will begin to cause divisions within the refugee families’ support
systems. In order to make sure our program reaches the intended audience, we have decided
to utilize the screening process already in place by refugee centers. This channel allows us to
reach our target in a cost-effective and reliable manner. Out of the three main refugee centers
in Dallas, we chose to work with the Refugee Services of Texas.

Founded in 1978, Refugee Services of Texas (RST) is a social-service agency dedicated to


supporting refugees, immigrants, and other displaced people by helping them integrate and
thrive in their new communities. The organization currently has service centers in Amarillo,
Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. RST provides services that are uniquely designed to
assist these vulnerable populations become fully self-sufficient as quickly as possible. Some of
these services include resettlement services, economic empowerment, English language
programs, immigration and legal services, and many more (Refugee Services of Texas, n.d.).

Three hundred refugee families are currently receiving help from Refugee Services of Texas in
Dallas. Therefore, three hundred refurbished or trade-in LGCU400 phones will be distributed
through our current, in-house transportation methods to an AT&T store located approximately
7 minutes from the refugee center (map pictured below). Employees in the AT&T stores will fit
the phones with international sim cards that are programmed to allow 30 minutes of talk time
per day, every day, for the month of December. These activated phones will then be delivered
to the refugee center by an AT&T employee at the store where families can pick them up and
start calling their families all across the world.

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(Source: Google.com/Maps)

At the end of the one-month period, each family will be asked if they wish to appear in public
advertisements by AT&T to raise goodwill and public image. However, our only goal from this
project is to be able to give back to the community through utilizing the skills that our company
is uniquely equipped with. Therefore, any requests made for public promotion will remain
completely optional and will have no impact on any future AT&T ventures. The advertisements
that are filmed will be aired at the end of the holiday season and used to promote both general
goodwill as well as new phone plans. Currently, we are not a strong competitor for
international phone plans, so that is also a sector we can look at expanding into, using this
program as a segway. Since this is a pilot program and we would like to possibly to expand this
program in the future to other cities in Texas as well as across the nation, we will be sending
out both entrance and exit surveys. This will allow us to gauge the success of the program as
well as take note of any recommendations we can implement in the future. Ultimately, this
program has the ability to further strengthen the notion that we, AT&T, are a company that
specializes not in communication, but in connections.

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Budget
We believe that keeping a lean budget achieves more than financial efficiency; we believe it can
also lead to a greater confidence in the project, and ultimately contribute to process efficiency.
We’ve worked hard to condense ourselves to a budget that lends itself to rapid adoption and
that keeps us from getting weighed down with a multitude of exterior responsibilities to
consider. In its current form, we believe this is the best possible budget for this project.

We will be purchasing 300 LGCU400 phones from our own network, and sponsoring 15 minutes
of talk-time a day on each, for the duration of the month of December. These phones will ship
directly to the AT&T store closest to the advocacy center. Employees at the store will complete
the assembly of these phones during regular hours, and they will then be delivered to the
center for pick-up and distribution. Assembly will therefore require no additional wage costs;
delivery will require a one-time transport less than 15 minutes in distance.

Once begun, the program will continue to be cost-effective. The phones will cost $9.55 per unit,
and our total, one-time purchase cost will come out to less than $3000. AT&T international talk
time per minute costs 12 cents, and, for 15 minutes a day over 31 days for 300 families, will
cost us about $16,500.

Our total cost will be $19,605, which is detailed in the following graph:

At a cost of under $20,000, we believe this is an incredibly attractive pilot opportunity for the
company. The cell phones we will be using are the least expensive option for this program. In
addition, we will be utilizing our company’s own internal transportation methods to ship the
phones from our headquarters to the local AT&T store, and then to the refugee center. Our
cost will be minimal. Our impact could be massive.

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Staffing
Our team of directors will be in charge of the day-to-day management of this project. Each
director is delegated specific duties to follow and as a team these members will make this
project successful and beneficial for the refugee public. We will not be needing additional staff
since the labor for this project is already covered in our internal processing systems and work
hours are volunteer based.

Allison Buehler: Director of Development


M.S. Accounting, Stanford University - Stanford, CA
CPA Certified
15 years of work experience in audit with KPMG
As Director of Development, Allison will be planning and developing a
strategic plan to smoothly implement this project and act as the leading
overseer for fund allocation. Her position as the Director of Development requires her to work
closely with the Director of Operations as both positions are essential to properly budget and
allocate funds for the project.

Sahana Ramkumar: Director of Public Relations


Ph.D. Communication, University of Notre Dame - Notre Dame, IN
M.S. Communication, Columbia University - New York, NY
20 years of work experience at McKinsey & Co.
As the Director of Public Relations, Sahana has the important task of
implementing methods and approaches to create and uphold a positive
public image for both the refugee clients and public media. This role is essential because trust
between the AT&T, the public media, and the refugees is crucial for this project to succeed. By
working with these two parties, Sahana will forge amiable relationships for future interactions.

Sindhu Senthilkumar: Director of Operations


M.S. Business Administration, Yale University - New Haven, CT
18 years of work experience at Alphabet Inc.
As the Director of Operations, Sindhu will be overseeing the day-to-day
activities of our project and her duty will be to delegate tasks within the
group during the course of the project. This role is essential as this is the key
role for a team to work together as she will be solving team disputes and disagreements.
Without this role, our team is likely to come across obstacles where paths differ and
productivity will decrease without a mediator such as Sindhu.

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Humza Sohail: Director of Finance
M.S. Finance, Harvard University - Cambridge, MA
9 years of work experience at Goldman Sachs Inc.
As the Director of Finance, Humza will be given the job of maximizing the
goodwill and proper allocation of funds along with the Director of
Development to make sure that our project remains financially healthy.
Additionally, through using this financial information, Humza will be working with the Director
of Operations to guide key business initiatives.

Ben Qin: Director of Human Resources


M.S. Management, University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA
12 years of work experience at J.P. Morgan Chase
As director of Human Resources, Ben Qin will be commissioned with the
position of maintaining healthy relationships between parties both inside
and outside the organization. He will be responsible for making sure that the
team members remain task-oriented and productive throughout the course of this project.
Additionally, the Director of Human Resources will be the pivotal role in forming bonds
between team members and the refugee organization to maximize performance and amiability.

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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are you considering offering refugees a phone plan after the completion of the pilot
program?
Since we are not trying to capitalize on this program, we will not be offering the refugees a
phone plan. Rather, we are solely looking to bring families together without pressuring them to
sign up for a phone plan.

2. How are you going to ensure that the refugees in the program will use the phones safely
without compromising security?
The refugees that will be taking part in our program will have been vetted through the Refugee
Services of Texas and have gone through the extensive eleven-step process explained
previously.

3. Why is this a better alternative compared to Internet communication services such as


Skype or WeChat?
The areas around the world that we are targeting have limited access to Internet. However,
most of the people in those areas either own or have access to cellular phones. Therefore,
providing these phones to the refugees in Dallas is the most viable option for this pilot program.

4. What steps do you plan on taking to avoid getting caught in the current politics
surrounding refugees and immigrants in the United States?
We want to focus on uniting people, not dividing them. The primary aim of this program is to
provide generosity to the Dallas community without making a political statement.

5. Why are you choosing one refugee center in Dallas rather than multiple centers?
Because this is a pilot program, we want to be able to gauge its success before expanding to
other areas. If the pilot program is successful, we hope to expand the program to other refugee
centers in Dallas and eventually across the nation.

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Conclusion
In the United States, immigration and personhood will always matter; it has always been a part
of this country’s narrative. Businesses in the modern world - organizations with reach, power,
and resources - are leading the positive changes the rest of the nation wants to see.

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s decision to directly support the city and its immigrants by
bringing them out of the margins to connect them with the people they love will do more than
fulfill a charitable quota. It will step away from the bottom line, and remind the citizens around
the country that it is okay to do so.

Through AT&T Relate, we hope to spread love by recognizing the value of something as simple
and intangible as feeling connected to the people that matter most. The program says that
those people matter to us too because love matters, and people matter, and our relationships
with each other matter. The nation needs to remember this now perhaps more than ever.
There is no industry better suited to spread this message than the communication industry, and
there’s no better time to remind the world of that than during the holiday season.

With your approval, we would like to move AT&T Relate forward. We believe that it can be a
rare opportunity for us to lead our communities through generosity, mercy, and empathy while
also doing what we have always done best: connect those around us.

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Works Cited

Alpert, M. (2017, April). By the Numbers: The United States of Refugees. Retrieved November

13, 2017, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/by-numbers-united-states-

refugees-180962487

Andros, D. (2016, November 21). Sudanese Refugee Falls to His Knees in Middle of Texas

Airport to Praise God after Emotional Reunion with Family. Retrieved November 13,

2017, from http://www.faithwire.com/2016/11/21/sudanese-man-falls-to-his-knees-in-

middle-of-texas-airport-to-praise-god-after-emotional-reunion-with-family/

AT&T Aspire. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from

http://about.att.com/content/csr/home/possibilities/at-t-aspire.html

AT&T Brand Guidelines. (2009, April). Retrieved November 13, 2017, from https://vt.vtp-

media.com/ecp/documents/product_Product/521/Logos/4546/att_gdl_glance.pdf

Company Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from

http://about.att.com/sites/company_profile

Dyan Comes Home. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2017, from

http://www.thenorthhill.org/dyan-comes-home

Refugee | Definition. (2017, November 10). Retrieved November 13 , 2017, from

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugee

Refugee Services of Texas. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from

https://www.rstx.org/dallas/

Vestal, A., & Chavez, A. (2017, February 03). See the Scale of Refugee Resettlement in Texas

and Walk the Winding Path of the Vetting Process. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from

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https://www.dallasnews.com/news/donald-trump-1/2017/02/03/refugee-ban-matters-

north-texas

Zong, J., & Batalova, J. (2017, September 28). Refugees and Asylees in the United States.

Retrieved November 13, 2017, from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/refugees-

and-asylees-united-states

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