Taught by her father and mother at an early age to value and uphold faith, family, education, and humanity in life, Mufalo Chitam was chosen by Spurwink as their 2023 Humanitarian of the Year in recognition of her advocacy, leadership, and commitment to transforming Portland’s once informal network of immigrant support into a robust fabric of resettlement systems to integrate immigrants into Maine culture.
Advocate, leader, and community builder Mufalo Chitam is making Maine a stronger place for all by transforming Portland’s once informal network of immigrant support into a robust fabric of resettlement systems to integrate immigrants into Maine culture. As Executive Director of the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) Mufalo has built one of the most successful immigrant rights organizations in Maine. Mufalo is civic-minded, understanding, generous, and thoughtful, and is gifted with a tremendous ability to relate across all ethnic communities no matter how different their experiences or needs may be. Through her work with MIRC, Mufalo represents over 100 member organizations including immigrant constituency and advocacy groups as well as direct service and grassroots community organizations, working to elevate the voices of new Mainers as they find their way and cultivate a more diverse and inclusive Maine for future generations of immigrant children to come.
Throughout her career, Mufalo has worked in various capacities to support people to live a fulfilling and dignified life, including positions at ChildFund International, University of Southern Maine, United Way of Greater Portland, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Kidney Foundation, Easter Seals Maine, American Red Cross, and Granite Bay Care, and has served on various boards in Maine including currently advocating on the United States Commission on Civil Rights Maine Advisory Committee. Mufalo has been featured in various articles and is a recipient of numerous leadership awards most notably the MaineBiz’s 2022 Women to Watch Women.
Mufalo earned her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Public Administration & Library Science from the University of Zambia and boasts over 25 years of professional experience in fields such as health, education, and social services. She was born and raised in Lusaka, with nine siblings, and immigrated to the U.S. from Zambia in 2000. A member of Emmanuel Assemblies of God Church, she lives in Old Orchard Beach with her husband Frank, a System Analyst at Greater Portland Health, and a daughter, Grace who works at EF Education First in MA.