Universities as Pathways to Global Inclusion

On September 28, 2023, the Global Humanities Seminar series “Understanding and Including Forced Migrants and Refugees: Responses from the Humanities” closed with the panel “Universities as Pathways to Global Inclusion.”

Co-organized by Lourdes Ortega and Negar Siyari (Initiative for Multilingual Studies),  Nicoletta Pireddu (Georgetown Humanities Initiative), and Anna DeFina (Department of Italian Studies), it brought university and non-university voices to campus for a conversation about systemic barriers and innovative strategies that U.S. higher education institutions can consider to increase access to a college education for (already educated) refugees and newcomers. Host societies often lament the massive deskilling of newcomers but also normalizing it as unavoidable. What can privileged places like universities—Georgetown among them —do, and how can we do better?

Speakers included Diya Abdo (Lincoln Financial Professor of English at Guilford College; Founder and Director of “Every Campus A Refuge”; author of the book American Refuge: True Stories of the Refugee Experience); Radmilla Popovic (Senior Educator Advisor; Online Learning Specialist at World Learning; and leader of the project “Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement”); and Allison Kokkoros (Chief Executive Officer of the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in DC).

Timor Karimy, Founder and President of the Bayman Foundation, and Zahra Yagana, Director of Community Development at Bayman, offered additional comments as respondents.

The panel was introduced by Prof. Thomas Banchoff, Vice President for Global Engagement and Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.