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Democracy Matters - Episode 25: UniverCity of Refuge


 
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SUMMARY: We are experiencing a global migration and refugees crisis with nearly 71 million people who have fled their homes worldwide, the highest number since World War II. In this episode, we talk about the crisis and what can be done about it with Dr. Diya Abdo, founder of Every Campus a Refuge, Dr. Jamie Williams, associate director of JMU's Community Service-Learning, and Nadiya Khaydari, a junior at JMU majoring in Political Science and Economics and a Senator in the Student Government Association.


We are experiencing a global migration and refugees crisis with nearly 71 million people who have fled their homes worldwide, the highest number since World War II.  According to the United Nations, a person is forced to leave home every two seconds. The root causes of this crisis include political conflict, war and economic displacement.

In this episode, we talk about the crisis and what can be done about it with Dr. Diya Abdo, Director of the Center for New North Carolinians at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a second-generation Palestinian refugee, born and raised in Jordan. In 2015, Dr. Abdo founded the Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR) initiative which advocates for housing refugee families on college and university campus grounds and assisting them in resettlement. 

Dr. Jamie Williams, Associate Director of Community Service-Learning at James Madison University, joins the episode to discuss the campus-community partnership to house people experiencing homelessness in Harrisonburg during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Nadiya Khaydari, a junior at JMU majoring in Political Science and Economics and a Senator in the Student Government Association, talks about the work SGA is doing to educate about the global migration and refugee crisis and SGA’s task force to study how JMU students can contribute to addressing the issue locally.

Links in this episode:

Suggested Reading:

Discussion Questions:

  • After listening to the lived realities for migrants and refugees in this episode, reflect on your own lived experiences.
  • How does your place of birth and citizenship status affect your lived experiences?
  • How is your situation during the COVID-19 pandemic different from migrants and refugees?
  • What is being done in your community to support migrants and refugees?
  • In what ways can you contribute to existing efforts in your community or lead new efforts to support migrants and refugees? 
  • What policies would you create to address the global migration and refugee crisis?

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Published: Thursday, May 21, 2020

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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