JMU joins Every Campus A Refuge

JMU Headlines

by Ginny Cramer


Harrisonburg, Virginia – James Madison University is continuing its commitment to serving as a community anchor institution and to innovative student learning by becoming an official Every Campus A Refuge chapter. As the 14th ECAR chapter nationwide and only the second in Virginia, after Old Dominion University, JMU is expanding its support of compassionate refugee resettlement. 

Every Campus A Refuge was founded at Guilford College by Dr. Diya Abdo in 2015. The effort calls on colleges and universities to partner with local refugee resettlement agencies to house refugees on campus grounds and assist them in resettlement. The idea is that university and college campuses have everything necessary — housing, food, care, skills, to take in refugees and support them as they begin lives in their new homes.  

JMU is proud to be able to support refugee families as they acclimate to the area and find ways to build a sustainable quality of life here. The university assists refugees with public transportation, mail services, and English conversation and other support.  

“Becoming an ECAR campus not only improves the quality of life in Harrisonburg for refugees, more fully integrating them into the fabric of the community, but it also bolsters the education of JMU students and serves our civic mission,” said Steve Grande, director of Community Service-Learning at JMU. “One of the developments we’re really excited about is creating a new grant-funded summer internship program where students will provide transition support to recently arrived refugee families temporarily residing on campus.” 

"Becoming an ECAR chapter campus not only acknowledges good works by so many faculty members, students, and community members, but it also spotlights that there is so much more we can do when JMU and Harrisonburg join together in a civic commitment to making a welcoming community where everyone can thrive," said Grande.  



Contact: Ginny Cramer,, 540-568-5325

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Published: Friday, May 19, 2023

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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