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Seeking Refuge

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Seeking Refuge

SRPA Team at the University of South Carolina

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Want to hear some extraordinary stories of resilience and humanity? Tired of political debates that ignore the lived experiences of refugees? Tune in to Seeking Refuge for the human stories of refugees and those working to protect them. Seeking Refuge was started by a group of students at the University of South Carolina who want to depoliticize the narrative around the refugee crisis. We focus on bringing you stories from refugees themselves and those on the frontlines of the crisis, giving ...
 
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Today we talk with Mayor Wilmot Collins of Helena, Montana. Mayor Collins is a former Liberian refugee, and we talk about his refugee journey from Liberia, his time in the Navy, and his career pivot into Montana politics. Mayor Collins also discusses advocating for refugees and gives his thoughts on current displacement crises. You can check out Ma…
 
Today we are kicking off our new season by going a bit more local. We talk to the leadership of Gamecocks Aiding Refugees, an advocacy and service organization on our very own University of South Carolina campus! Lauren, Nora, and Natalie talk about their experiences working alongside refugees and witnessing refugee community right here in Columbia…
 
As of the beginning of 2020, there were 2.6 million Afghan refugees in the world, a number which was growing quickly, according to the UNHCR. With the US withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 30, 2021 and the concurrent Taliban takeover in Kabul, this number will surely rise significantly. The longstanding US backlogs for special visa applications …
 
In this episode, Aidan attends a protest at the South Carolina Statehouse organized to bring attention to the military coup in Burma (also known as Myanmar). The coup, which took place on February 1, 2021, sparked global outcry against the military regime and against the international community for the lack of resistance. In Columbia, a group of pe…
 
In the past few months, the United States has seen an all-time high of asylum seekers and migrants arriving at the Southern Border. The Biden administration has struggled to respond, and conditions in detainment facilities for asylum seekers have remained awful. Additionally, Biden has blamed the humanitarian crisis at the border for his delays and…
 
In this episode, we talk with Dr. Julie Sugarman of the Migration Policy Institute about issues facing displaced students in accessing education. She explains factors for students in emergent crises, long-term displacement in refugee camps, and resettlement, particularly in terms of English learner (EL) programs. Here is Dr. Sugarman's page with th…
 
Esha and Aidan review Malala Yousafzai's recent book, We are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World. The book is a collection of narrative essays telling the stories of several young women and girls who are displaced around the world, from Syria to Colombia to Myanmar to the US. Their stories center on the humanity of…
 
Today, Jackie sits down with Anjalina Sen, Regional Refugee Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Columbia. Anjalina has worked for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in Myanmar, Iraq, Beruit, and Turkey, and she now helps manage one of the largest displacement crises in the world in Venezuela. They talk about the situatio…
 
Today we learn what it means to be a climate refugee and how many people are fleeing because of environmental reasons. (Student Spotlight alert!) We talk first to Grace Adcox, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University studying refugees, conflict, and climate. Then we talk to Amali Tower, the founder of Climate Refugees, a human rights organizatio…
 
On February 1, 2021, Myanmar's military seized control of the government in a coup. Since this happened, there has been massive civil unrest and military violence in response to the protests. Over 200 anti-coup protestors have died so far. The Burmese military has been the force behind the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, Karen, and other …
 
in this episode, we look at a crisis closer to home than ever before. Jean Sicurella of Misión de Caridad, an organization that helps women and children who are stranded in Mexico as a result of the "Remain in Mexico" program, sits down with us to talk about what they do. She talks education, human trafficking, the U.S. asylum system, and more. You…
 
In part two of our look into the history of refugees, we talk with Peter Gatrell again about the creation of the UNHCR and the 1951 Refugee Convention. We also look at trends that lead the international framework from refugees from the early 1950s to now. Lastly, we get insight into how we should think about the current "refugee crisis" in context …
 
In part one of a two part investigation, we outline the historical context of the modern refugee crisis with Professor Peter Gatrell, a migration history expert from the University of Manchester in England. Professor Gatrell explains how refugees came about as a byproduct of the nation-state system and how major conflicts like the World Wars, the R…
 
Season Four of Seeking Refuge is here!! This season, which we're calling "Intersections," will explore the ways that being a refugee compounds on other systemic issues in the world. Dropping next Monday, February 22nd! Which episode are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments! Connect With Us If you or someone you know would like to share…
 
A few weeks ago, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Here's a recap of all the refugee and immigration policy changes he's made in his first days. Check out the White House's Fact Sheets on the new policies: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/01/20/fact-sheet-president-biden-sends-immigr…
 
Today, Patrick sits down with Lewis Mudge, the Director of Central Africa for Human Rights Watch. Lewis talks about his career as a humanitarian, monitoring human rights abuses in the Central African Republic and surrounding countries. He discusses the state of the CAR today and the pursuit of justice in the country. Click here to see Human Rights …
 
Patrick sits down with New Hampshire State Representative Safiya Wazir. Safiya is from Afghanistan and is the first refugee to be elected to the New Hampshire State Legislature. They talk about her journey to the US, her life as an activist, being a woman in NH politics, and being a young mom through all of this. She also shares a hopeful view of t…
 
Jackie sits down with Firas Al-Khateeb, a communication and public information officer with the UNHCR in Iraq. They talk about the role of the UNHCR in the refugee crisis, the current state of displacement in Iraq, and the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the country. They also talk ways people in America can help refugees around the world an…
 
Episode Notes Today, we sit down with new author Dung Duong. Dung is an optics engineer, entrepreneur, and former Vietnamese refugee. He talks to us about his new book, Shifting Optics, and tells us about lessons he learned from his life and his career, as well as his hopes that listeners can look at life from a new perspective. To buy Dung's book,…
 
Episode Notes Today, our very own Esha and Aidan review the 2007 documentary film Facing Sudan about the aftermath of the Sudanese Civil War. The story covers the war, the humanitarian fallout, the Lost Boys, and the genocide in Darfur. (Plus, Salva makes an appearance!) Esha and Aidan talk about their thoughts on the movie as well as what's change…
 
Episode Notes This week, we talk with Mike Spence and Mowlid of Athletics United in Logan, Utah. Mike is the executive director of the program, and Mowlid is a student from Somalia who participates in it. They foster community building, especially offering resources and connections for the refugee students in their town. Mike and Mowlid tell us wha…
 
Episode Notes This week, we talk with musician Ephraim Bugumba, a Congolese refugee. He tells us about his family's incredible journey to safety after fleeing their home in 1999 following a massacre in their village and his life in the US. Ephraim also talks about the meaning behind his popular song "Stormz" and what is next for him musically. Ephr…
 
We interrupt our regular season to bring you this bonus interview with Mohammed Rafique. Mohammed is a student at the University of Waterloo, and he talks about his experience as a refugee from Myanmar and the desire of refugees to feel known and at home. He discusses his advocacy work with the Rohingya Association of Canada, his meeting with Justi…
 
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been in the news a lot lately with allegations of mistreatment of detainees. We're bringing you a summary of the allegations so far. This story is continually evolving, so we'll bring you updates as needed. Articles Referenced in this Episode: https://www.propublica.org/article/ice-guards-systemati…
 
This week, we sit down with Yazmin Ullah, a Rohingya activist. She explains the situation in Myanmar and talks to us about the ongoing case in the ICJ against the government for crimes of genocide. Yazmin talks about her advocacy work, her goals for the future, and even her social media presence on Twitter and Tik Tok. For more info on the Us vs. T…
 
This week, we examine the worsening situation in South Sudan, and we have two guests! First, we talk to Tony Freitas, who worked in South Sudan for years giving humanitarian aid and training South Sudanese refugees in various skills. Then, we talk to Moses Andruga about his story. Moses is a South Sudanese refugee who is currently in Uganda working…
 
This week, we talk to David Marín Cabrera, a Venezuelan psychologist, about his experience as a refugee in Peru. He talks about his own experience leaving Venezuela, the state of the crisis in general, and his work counseling other refugees. David and other counselors are using their own experiences as refugees to help others cope with their trauma…
 
President Trump just announced the 2021 refugee cap, and it's the lowest in US history. Articles Referenced in this Episode: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/26/politics/refugee-cap-historic-low/index.html https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-administration-refugee-resettlement-cap-historic-low/ https://news.yahoo.com/administration-announces-further-slas…
 
In our first episode of season 3, we explain a little bit of what is happening in Syria, and we sit down with Amani Kanjo of Syrian Relief and Development to discuss health care for Syrians. Specifically, Amani points out issues of gender-based violence and health care workers' advocacy in the country and among Syrian refugees. If you want to learn…
 
Our third season is coming in two weeks! In this teaser, we talk about where we've been, what this season is about, and give brief introductions to our team members. We are so excited for what the future has in store, and we hope you are too. This season, we will be covering the ten largest displacement crises according to the UNHCR's 2019 report. …
 
In this summer bonus episode, we talked to Salva Dut, the founder of Water for South Sudan. Salva was one of the Sudanese “Lost Boys” and was the basis for the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Salva traces his journey for us, talks about the effects of clean water on a community, and discusses his vision for the future of South Sudan an…
 
Description In our third bonus episode, we sit down with Parnaz Foroutan, a former Iranian refugee, and discuss her new memoir Home is a Stranger. She talks about the real Iran behind the media, female identities, and how we should be viewing the refugee crisis. Home is a Stranger can be purchased at her publisher's website here: https://www.chicag…
 
Description In our second bonus episode, we sit down again with our very first guest, Dr. Breanne Grace. This time, we talk about how the novel coronavirus pandemic (and outbreaks in general) affect refugees. We discuss what outbreaks look like in camp settings, how resettled refugees in the US are affected, and the general health inequalities that…
 
Description In this bonus episode, we talk to Abby Sauls. Abby is an international and global studies senior at the University of South Carolina who has worked with the refugee communities both in South Carolina and in Jordan. She gives us insight into what the refugee crisis looks like in Jordan and how the novel coronavirus has impacted refugees …
 
Description In this seventh episode of Season 2, we talk to Bekah Bennett. Bekah is an international studies student at the University of South Carolina who works in Clarkston to help support the refugee community. UNHCR:https://donate.unhcr.org/int/coronavirus-emergency/~my-donation# International Rescue Committee:https://www.rescue.org/covid-19-t…
 
Description In this sixth episode of Season 2, we talk to Ogbai Afeworkie. Ogbai is a refugee from Ethiopia and a current student at Georgia State University. Ogbai and I talk about his refugee story from growing up in refugee camps to dealing with the US education system. Ethiopian-Eritrean War: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/ethiopia-e…
 
Description In this fifth episode of Season 2, we talk to Luma Mufleh. Luma is a former asylee from Jordan who founded Fugees Family and Fugees Academy- an all refugee school and soccer team in Clarkston, Georgia. Luma talks about her background, her current work with refugees, and how it has affected her. You can find out more about Fugees Family …
 
Description In this fourth episode of Season 2, we talk to Brian Bollinger. Brian is the executive director for Friends of Refugees, a non-profit whose mission is “to empower refugees through opportunities that provide for their well-being, education and employment.”. We talked to Brian today about the economic impact of refugees in Clarkston, GA a…
 
Description In the third episode of Season 2, we talk to Pastor Trent Deloach. He is the lead pastor at Clarkston International Bible Church. We talked to Pastor Deloach about how his church impacts the refugee populations in Clarkston and the lessons he's learned from leading such a diverse congregation. You can find out more about what CIBC does …
 
Description In today's episode, we talk to Dr. Mary Helen O'Connor. An assistant professor at Georgia State University, Dr. O’Connor is an expert in refugee studies, with a particular interest in public health among refugee populations. We talked to Dr. O'Connor about her experiences in Clarkston, GA and how her research is impacting the community.…
 
Description This new season focuses on the town of Clarkston, Georgia, which is one of the most culturally diverse towns in the United States. In today's episode, we talk to Clarkson Mayor, Ted Terry. Mayor Ted is running for US Senate and has been an advocate for refugee resettlement in his town and across the state of Georgia. We talked to Mayor …
 
Description For the last show of this season, we talk to Alexis Vetack about her involvement with Gamecocks Aiding Refugees in Columbia, and how students can get involved in helping local refugee populations. We'll be back with more episodes in 2020. Connect With Us: If you or someone you know would like to share their personal refugee story, send …
 
Description This week, we talk to Katie Heins, a former UofSC Honor's College student, about her involvement in research regarding refugees and the impact that it has had on her life after College. Connect With Us: If you or someone you know would like to share their personal refugee story, send us an email at seekingrefugepodcast@gmail.com or conn…
 
Description This week, we talk to Thakur Mishra about what life is like as a former refugee in the United States. Through his work at Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency, Thakur is helping refugees to find homes in the greater-Charlotte area. Connect With Us: If you or someone you know would like to share their personal refugee story, send us an e…
 
Description This week, we talk to Amadeo Geere about being a refugee running for office. After years of advocating for victims throughout the state, Amadeo now wants to take his experiences to Columbia City Council. Connect With Us: If you or someone you know would like to share their personal refugee story, send us an email at seekingrefugepodcast…
 
Episode Notes Description This week, we talk to Professor Breanne Grace about what it means to be a refuge. From her years of research and experience with refugees, we learn about the complex issues surrounding displaced populations. Connect With Us: If you or someone you know would like to share their personal refugee story, send us an email at se…
 
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