In Our Backyard: The Realities of Post-Resettlement Life and Community-Based Approaches to Rebuilding Home, 11/2, 7-8:30 pm (UNC)

(This event is at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information, please visit here.)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 7-8:30 PM. COURSE #3507

Real-life stories – beyond the facts/figures, de-bugging some of the myths. What are the realities of daily life as a refugee? What are the barriers to refugee support efforts, how do we make them sustainable, what are the benefits and challenges of academic/community partnerships, and what solutions can we provide within the local community, to integrate refugees and respond to the need? Join us as we engage with refugee community leaders, share their stories, celebrate successes, and learn ways the community can get involved.

Madison Hayes, Executive Director, Refugee Community Partnership of Chapel Hill, Carrboro.

Madison’s work centers around building vibrant, sustainable food systems that bolster resilient local economies. She co-founded the Refugee Community Partnership in Carrboro, NC, and designed its community-led food distribution program, The Food Mint, a hallmark of local community-driven food access solutions. She serves on the Board of Directors for three local organizations, and is an advisor and guest instructor at UNC. Prior to The Food Mint, Madison served as Executive Director of the Office of Community Outreach, Dissemination and Education at the UNC Center for AIDS Research. She was the co-leader of a nationwide coalition that plants and grows Community Advisory Boards at health research institutions. In 2014, she presented to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other national leaders on coalition building between academic institutions and communities. Madison holds a degree in Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, and a certification from Duke University in Non-Profit Leadership.

Nicole Accordino is project co-director at Transplanting Traditions Community that helps refugees develop entrepreneurial skills through sustainable farming.  The project is located on an eight-acre plot of land in Chapel Hill, where refugees, most of whom are Burmese, harvest produce to sell.  One hundred percent of the generated profit goes directly back to the farmers. The organization also provides English, communication, public speaking and leadership skills classes as well as childcare in the summer.

Screening: Salam Neighbor, 10/26, 7-9 pm (UNC)

movie poster

(This event is at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information, please visit here.)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 7-9 PM. COURSE #3506

Join us for a film screening of Salam Neighbor, a 2016 award-winning feature documentary that shares stories of the heartbreak and hope of refugee life, as told through the experiences of two American filmmakers. Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple were the first allowed by the United Nations to set up a tent and live among 85,000 Syrians in Jordan’s refugee camp. The session will include a discussion led by Dilshad Jaff, MD, MPH, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Jaff (himself a refugee now living here) will share his experience from the field working in refugee and Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDPs) camps, and will provide updates, current challenges and issues related to the refugee crisis.

Dilshad Jaff, MD, MPH, is a research advisor for conflict prevention and disaster preparedness at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Global Health Solutions. He also is a Rotary Peace fellow and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Gillings School. Dr. Jaff has more than 15 years’ experience in complex humanitarian crises in conflict zones in the Middle East, largely working with the International Committee of the Red Cross. He has experience in designing, implementing, supervising and monitoring health projects and programs during and after complex humanitarian emergencies. In addition to his formal studies in medicine and public health, he has studied medical microbiology with considerable training in conflict resolution.

Refugees: Pathways, Experiences, and Resettlement, 10/19, 7-8:30 pm (UNC)

(This event is at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information, please visit here.)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 7-8:30 PM. COURSE #3505

Co-presenters Scott Phillips and Josh Hinson

Scott’s presentation: Refugees welcomed to the United States come from all over the world, represent a variety of religions, and are invariably hard-working individuals. This session will explore and examine the realities facing refugees resettling in the US, in particular North Carolina; as well as provide updates on current political contexts, such as the travel ban. The session will provide an overview of the refugee issue at the local level with an exploration of the resettlement process, examining both theory as well as practical aspects, through a discussion of local resettlement efforts. The session will also highlight means and methods for community engagement.

Josh’s presentation: Research shows that refugees experience disproportionately high rates of chronic health and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other stress-related disorders. Refugees also face a multitude of barriers to accessing healthcare services, including lack of culturally appropriate treatment and limited access to interpretation services. This session will focus on the refugee experience in North Carolina, and explore the ethical obligations of healthcare professionals to participate in their care. The session will also provide information and resources on best practices for working with refugees in North Carolina.

P. Scott Phillips is a native North Carolinian who joined the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants North Carolina Field Office as director in November 2015. Before taking on this role, Dr. Phillips has worked in the fields of community development, civil rights, and advocacy for about 15 years. His experiences include serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, carrying out research on marginalized groups in Jordan, Israel and the UK, and promoting greater civic engagement at Duke University. He brings a wide-ranging set of skills and experiences to the office of Director. Dr. Phillips received his Ph.D. in Ethnic Relations from the University of Warwick (Coventry UK), a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University, a Master’s in Political Science and a B.A. in Anthropology, both from Appalachian State University.

Quentin Joshua (Josh) Hinson is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His professional interests include immigration, immigrant health, mental health and substance abuse, community organizing and sustainable development. He received a master’s in Social Work at UNC, with a concentration in Adult Mental Health Direct Practice. Josh also serves as a clinical therapist for El Futuro, Inc., and provides mental health and substance abuse assessments and counseling for Spanish-speaking adults and adolescents. He is the recent recipient of the 2017 UNC School of Social Work’s Excellence in Public Service and Engagement Award.

Book Club Series: How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America, 10/26 and 11/9, 1:30-3:30 pm (UNC)

book cover

(This event is at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information, please visit here.)

Oct & 26, Nov. 9. 1:30-3:30 pm. Fee: $20

INSTRUCTOR: Rita Balaban

COURSE #3509

Note: This series is in conjunction with REFUGEE, a free multimedia art exhibit on display at the Friday Center from September 25-November 3, 2017. Learn more about the exhibit and to plan your visit.

What is it like to be an Arab-American in post 9-11 America?  Often talked about, but rarely heard, in his book, How Does it Feel to be a Problem?,Moustafa Bayoumi brings us the stories of seven young Arab-Americans as they navigate the perils of everyday life – college, careers, and finding purpose – under a persistent cloud of suspicion. Join us as we discuss their stories and the treatment of Arab-Americans since 2001. Bayoumi’s book was chosen as the 2017 Carolina Summer Reading book for incoming first-year and transfer students and promises to lead to thought-provoking discussion as it increases our awareness of our fellow neighbor’s struggle to just “be.” Participants will receive copies of the publication at the first session, with the remaining sessions focused on discussions of the book, led by Dr. Rita Balaban, Chair of Carolina’s Summer Reading Project.

Rita Balaban, PhD, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Prior to joining UNC, she taught at the College of Charleston and Samford University. She received her PhD in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Balaban has directed over 20 undergraduate research projects in various areas of economics that include the music and radio industries, international trade, and the economics of sports. She also enjoys doing volunteer work with students in the community.  Dr. Balaban served as chair of Carolina’s 2017 Summer Reading Project.

The Black Mediterranean//Dead Cities: Migrancy Working Group, 10/16, 6-8pm

Mark Morris’s 1989 production of Dido & Aeneas, a tragic tale in which Dido—a Phoenician queen—and Aeneas—a refugee from Troy—meet in the Mediterranean city of Carthage.
Please join the Migrancy Working Group for their second meeting of the semester, taking place on Monday, October 16th in Allen 314, from 6-8 pm, to discuss Dido and Aeneas, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Joseph Roach’s Cities of the Dead in the context of the Black Mediterranean/Atlantic. Email carolin.benack@duke.edu for access to the readings and to RSVP. Below is a note from Professor Sussman about the curation of the readings:
 

The ongoing surge of refugees crossing from Africa and Syria to Greece and Italy has led scholars and other observers to coin the term “The Black Mediterranean.”  It’s an evocative phrase, asking us to rethink the fertile “cradle of civilization” as a necropolitical zone whose brutality matches that of the Atlantic middle passage.  Yet the term is meant as more than an analogy.  Saucier and Woods argue that “Antiblack violence in the Mediterranean basin has its roots in the earliest racial slave trade in which Italian merchants funded Portuguese raiders across the Mediterranean Sea and down the Atlantic coast of Africa,” and thus “What we are facing today is a new declination of an old and repressed issue that haunts… the European project and modernity itself.”

In the service of our working group’s mission to explore the “long histories and emerging presents of migrancy,” our October 16th session will juxtapose recent accounts of the crisis in the Mediterranean to some late seventeenth-century literary and musical representations of migrancy in the region’s past: specifically, accounts of the tragic meeting of Dido—a Phoenician queen—and Aeneas—a refugee from Troy—in the Mediterranean city of Carthage.  Thus, we’ve given you the very short libretto of Tate and Purcell’s 1689 opera, Dido and Aeneas, along with a modern translation of its source material, Virgil’s Aeneid, and a link to Jessye Norman performing the opera’s final aria.  We’ve also included a short excerpt from Joseph Roach’s influential book, Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance analyzing the place of the opera in British imperial expansion.  Roach reads Dido’s last words —“Remember me, but ah! Forget my fate”—as “the sacrificial expenditure of Africa” as “the Mediterranean-centered consciousness of European memory [turns] into an Atlantic-centered one.” But recent events enjoin us to re-interrogate the Neo-Classical representation of large scale human migration.  What can we now remember about Dido that we have previously allowed ourselves to forget?  What happens when we consider the continuity of the Black Mediterranean and the Black Atlantic, as well as their resonant similarities in both the eighteenth century and our own time?
NB: Dido and Aeneas has had other important contemporary reinterpretations.  If you have time, you might also look at Mark Morris’s 1989 dance performance (pictured above), with Morris (right) taking the role of Dido.