Ally’s Post: Refugee and Resettlement, Near and Far

This week I want to talk about refugee and resettlement in the Harrisonburg area. In the past three weeks, we have covered a huge range of genocide topics. All of which were very distant from us, either because of location, or because of a separation of time periods. What I keep trying to keep in mind is the fact that these topics are not as distant from us as they may seem. This week’s class provides us with the opportunity to hear from someone in town about the refugee resettlement that is present in town. I believe that this guest speaker will have a huge impact on the class, and help us remember that we do have the ability to make changes in these problems- especially if there are people right under our noses that we can meet and engage with.

Reading the article “Refugee Resettlement in the United States” completely impressed me with the actions our country has taken to resettle people throughout the years. In this article, it is stated that the United States has resettled over 3 million refugees in all fifty states. Although this number is huge, it is still not nearly as huge as the amount of people affect and killed by genocides. Knowing this fact makes me even more urgent for the spread of knowledge and change. Even reading the text that distinguished who a refugee is, completely showed me that the standards are different than I first imagined. It is more in front of our eyes than we may have thought, which should only deepen and encourage us to make changes.

As not only a JMU community, but also a class who cares so deeply about this topic, I think that it would be beneficial to us to experience working with refugee resettlement in the Harrisonburg area before our trip to Phoenix. It will give us a glimpse of what kinds of issues these refugees face, as well as open our eyes a bit deeper before traveling next month. 

One thought on “Ally’s Post: Refugee and Resettlement, Near and Far

  1. Ally, this is great – it’s really timely with our discussion this week. The “separation” contributes to genocide trivialization and also contributes to the bare life in the camps. It strikes that we think of genocide, refugees, humanitarian aid, etc .. .as “far off” or distal. It is, a huge theme from Chapter 3 in On the Margins of the World. Great point … aaron

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