Over at Twin Cities Geek this week I have a new essay up on the relationship of refugee resettlement with geek culture, and the advantages of engaging New Americans with science fiction and fantasy conventions, and other events.
I’m now contemplating follow-up conversations on the subject, because there are certain barriers and approaches where more conversations definitely need to be held as we consider what will be necessary to create welcoming spaces for emerging communities from other traditions.
For those of you interested in getting a head start on understanding refugee journeys, some beginning resources I might recommend include:
The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher, a great 2003 book to consider because she worked with Asian, African and other refugees in the 1980s and 90s, a key era for many of the communities today There’s also some interesting guides in the back for best practices that have worked in the past for refugees that may be usable for others. It’s read in many graduate level classes but it’s easy to get into for many readers. An interesting review of it can be found at: https://wce.wwu.edu/nwchgee/overview-middle-everywhere
June 20th is set aside as World Refugee Day by the United Nations, so their website usually has the most current information on events, news updates, and other links for communities who want to raise awareness on the issue: http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees is usually one of the first stops to go for current reports, opportunities to help: http://www.unhcr.org
In the US, the US Office of Refugee Resettlement is one of the first places to check out for specific US policies, programs and opportunities: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr
More resources soon!