As part of rivalry week challenge against Lehigh, we did a fundraiser against their equivalence of Refugee Action to see who could raise more money during the week. Of course, RefAct won the challenge.
We partnered with Campus Pizza to raise funds for our newly arrived family in November 2019. Proceeds from meals purchased at that restaurant for an evening were used to benefit our resettlement efforts.
Soufra is a film that follows the unlikely and wildly inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar – a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon. The film follows Mariam as she sets out against all odds to change her fate by launching a successful catering company, “Soufra,” and then expand it into a food truck business with a diverse team of fellow refugee women who now share this camp as their home.
Refugee Action organized a community gathering event over tea and cookies to recognize our community partners’ substantial contributions to our resettlement efforts.
Refugee Action hosted an immersive virtual reality experience with VR goggles where participants watched different stories of displaced people in different parts of the world followed by a discussion on their experience.
In light of the recent cuts to the United States’ refugee program from 30,000 to 18,000 refugees for this fiscal year, Refugee Action organized a banner signing event where Lafayette members showed solidarity and stood with RefAct to support refugees. We tabled in Farinon on Thursday (10/3) and Friday (10/4) during lunch. We provided a handout on how to support the GRACE act, a congressional bill that aims to implement a minimum on the number of refugees admitted yearly.
Monsters to Destroy is a “talkumentary” by political satirist Ben Tumin. Based on his original talk he gave while touring around the U.S. after the travel ban passed, Tumin’s Monsters to Destroy is a humorous, historical, and personal investigation of the real impact of refugees. Lafayette is so excited to be hosting Ben Tumin for the second time after having been recognized at one of his shows in New York.
The second annual Broths for a Better World community dinner brought together over 75 students, professors, and community partners from the greater Lafayette community. Refugee Action members, along with help from co-sponsoring clubs, cooked 5 different soups from regions with a history of or current refugee crisis. Members of Refugee Action also presented to attendees on the factors that drive refugee migration, country-specific resettlement information, the intersection of environmental issues and the refugee crisis, and, lastly, how we can all help. Funds raised through the event will be used to support resettlement efforts in the area.
Haider Newmani visited Lafayette to present on his experiences as a photojournalist for the American army during the Iraq War and as a refugee in the US. His provocative images provided a clear explanation of why people flee and the violence on the bodies of both Iraqi men and women and American soldiers everyday during the war. After his presentation he led a discussion on his photo-documentation and provided the audience with an explanation of his recent experiences as a fully resettled refugee in New York.
Monsters to Destroy is a multimedia performance by filmmaker and comedian Ben Tumin discussing refugee resettlement in the United States. Mixing information about the refugee crisis with clips from interviews conducted with Scott Cooper, a retired marine working in human rights advocacy, and five young Syrians living in Germany, Ben takes a different look at the impact of refugee resettlement, particularly from the perspective of national security. Through anecdotes about his grandfather — himself once a refugee — Ben weaves in his connection to the cause and pieces together what he has learned about himself, his country, and the questions that remain.