Skip to main content

A Movement for Refugee Leadership [ssir.org]

 

By Basma Alawee and Taryn Higashi, Stanford Social Innovation Review, October 28, 2021

As tens of thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their country over the last few months, I’ve been listening to Afghans in the United States, worrying both for their families in Afghanistan and for new arrivals now facing an uncertain future. Their stories are often similar to my own, when—due to my husband’s work as an interpreter for the US military—I fled Iraq in 2010, in the middle of the night with my husband and 1-year-old daughter. Thankfully, there has been an outpouring of support for resettling Afghan refugees, from faith-based communities and veteran groups to companies like Airbnb and others. Because the previous administration worked to dismantle the US refugee resettlement system—admitting fewer than 12,000 refugees in 2020, compared to nearly 85,000 in 2016—local programs that provide medical care, trauma support, housing, and other services to refugees who settle here must be rebuilt. But we also must look long-term.

During my time being resettled in the United States, and in the years since—as national campaign manager for We Are All America, and as a refugee advocate—I’ve learned that becoming civically engaged in the communities refugees will live in is key to their long-term success. When we provide opportunities for refugees to become civically engaged and realize their potential as leaders, it not only cultivates a sense of belonging and agency over their lives, but it contributes to positive changes that benefit all of us. For those who are committed to creating a more just and vibrant society, we need to engage refugees and invest in their leadership and civic engagement.

[Please click here to read more.]

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Post
Copyright © 2022, PACEsConnection. All rights reserved.
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×