More than 3% of people in the world live outside their country of birth. While many have migrated for work or family reasons, more than 25% (or 68 million) of these individuals have been forcibly displaced due to war, persecution, or natural disasters. In 2017, 16.2 million people were newly displaced—that is, 44,500 people each day or one person every two seconds.

Resettlement is the process by which refugee families permanently relocate to a new country. North Carolina ranks tenth among states in refugee resettlement. The Triangle area—Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill-- has been the geographic focus of this resettlement and associated family reunifications over that past decade. While the number of refugees entering the U.S. has recently declined, the barriers facing refugees when they arrive remain significant.

Now in its fourth year, the Citizenship Lab is a part of the Kenan Refugee Project (KRP). KRP focuses on the global refugee and migrant crisis and its impacts on communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Since 2010, KRP has collaborated with refugee communities across the globe to collect and share its stories. For example, a team of KRP faculty and students have undertaken life-story interviews of refugees in Egypt, Nepal, and Jordan. These interviews and all KRP projects are conducted with the goal of understanding the dynamics of contemporary displacement and forced migration and a concurrent commitment to refugee well-being.

The Citizenship Lab and Kenan Refugee Project are integral components of Kenan’s Global Migration program. The program is dedicated to increasing both scholarly and public understanding surrounding the causes and consequences of human migration through collaborative research, public advocacy, and community-based programming.