Vicarious traumatization and vicarious resilience: an exploration of therapists’ experiences conducting individual therapy of refugee clients: a project based upon an investigation at Family Health Center of Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Vicarious traumatization and vicarious resilience: an exploration of therapists’ experiences conducting individual therapy of refugee clients: a project based upon an investigation at Family Health Center of Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Megan C. Walsh

Date: 2014

Description: Master’s Thesis, Smith College School for Social Work. This qualitative research project focuses on the experience of vicarious trauma and resilience among therapists with refugee clients. The author finds through interviews that therapists with refugee clients are often affected emotionally by their client’s reports of trauma, and that they successfully employ coping mechanisms. These findings support other research that therapists may experience vicarious trauma and resilience.

http://scholarworks.smith.edu/theses/850/

Keywords: Therapy, Therapists, Trauma, Resilience

Cataloged by: Patrick Barnosky/ B. J. Perkins

Refugee Youth Challenges and Unique Needs in Worcester Public Schools that are Satisfied by African Community Education

Title: Refugee Youth Challenges and Unique Needs in Worcester Public Schools that are Satisfied by African Community Education

Author: Heidi L. Biron

Date: 2016

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development and Social Change

This paper examines the challenges refugee youth face in U.S. public schools and the benefits of supplementary education programs. The author uses the African Community Education (ACE) organization in Worcester, MA as a case study of a supplementary education program, which she analyzes through participant observation, interviews with ACE’s staff and one focus group discussion with refugee youth from ACE’s programs.  Refugee youth often face several challenges that can become hindrances to their educational success, including: trauma, gaps in education, language barriers and stresses due to acculturation. The U.S. educational system lacks teacher training regarding trauma and hinders personalized attention for students. At ACE, teachers were described as better trained to work with African refugee populations, more patient and more personal in their teaching methods. The structure of the program focused on providing support to improve behavior as well as educational achievement, and the environment was described as more comfortable because of the similarities among students and staff.

Keywords: Refugee Youth, African Refugees, Supplementary Education Programs

Cataloged by: Patrick Barnosky/ B. J. Perkins

“Refugee Industrial Complex,” Neoliberal Governance within the Resettlement Industry and Its Effects: Is An Alternative Structure Possible?

Title: “Refugee Industrial Complex,” Neoliberal Governance within the Resettlement Industry and Its Effects: Is An Alternative Structure Possible?

Author: Al-Dasouqui, Amira F.

Date: 2016

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Community Development and Planning, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

This paper examines the U.S. Refugee Resettlement System and uses the author’s experience working at Ascentria Care Alliance in Worcester, MA as a case study. The author argues that the resettlement system has been largely affected by neoliberalism, privatization, and a decreased role of the state in ensuring the public welfare. The author shows how these trends have led to a decrease in direct assistance and oversight from the federal government and an increase in responsibility on the part of non-governmental organizations. The author also claims resettlement systems are more accountable to their funders than the refugees they are designed to serve. These power dynamics create what the author calls the ‘Refugee Industrial Complex’, which establishes the norms, values and practices of resettlement.

Keywords: Neoliberalism, Resettlement

Cataloged by: Patrick Barnosky/ B. J. Perkins

Latino experience in small learning communities in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Latino experience in small learning communities in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Smith, Jennifer L.

Date: 2005

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development and Social Change

This paper examines Latino student experience in small learning communities (SLCs) within the larger public high school setting in Worcester, Massachusetts. The aim of the small learning community approach is to narrow the achievement gap between Latinos and other ethnic groups. To explore the perceptions of Latino students to this new approach, the author uses the responses from in-depth interviews with twenty two Latino students in seven different SLCs. The research demonstrates that a changing school culture associated with SLCs has the potential to narrow the achievement gap for Latino students especially if the Worcester public schools share information about positive practices working well within SLCs across the district.

Keywords: Latino students, public high school, education, school performance, Small Learning Communities (SLC),

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

The study of the Somali U.S. workforce insertion process

Title: The study of the Somali U.S. workforce insertion process

Author: McCubbin, Traci Dionne Jines

Date: May 2007

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

This study explores the workforce insertion process of Somali refugees in the United States. It also addresses the impact that formal instructions, ethnic enclaves, and previous class status have on this process. The research identifies distorted information and language barriers as two key obstacles to successful workforce insertion. The author concludes by recommending an expanded study with more interviews and geographic locations as well as examining age, gender and tribal relations among Somali refugees.

Keywords: Somalis, Labour supply, Labour market, Economic integration

Cataloged by: Peter Nelson/ B. J. Perkins

How are the goals, objectives, and success of new immigrant communities’ determined in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: How are the goals, objectives, and success of new immigrant communities’ determined in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Alkhazova, Zhanna

Date: May 2003

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development and Social Change

This research explores Russian and Liberian ethnic groups in Worcester, the varying political and social conditions from which they emerged, and their expectations of refugee life in America. The author finds that the refugee resettlement process is more successful when refugees and immigrants have more realistic expectations.

Keywords: Russians, Liberians, refugee resettlement

Cataloged by: Peter Nelson/ B. J. Perkins

Walking a tightrope: Latina immigrants in Worcester

Title: Walking a tightrope: Latina immigrants in Worcester

Author: Miller, Kristen Marie

Date: May 2002

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development and Social Change

This research examines the strategies used by twelve Latina immigrants in Worcester, Massachusetts to navigate structural obstacles to success. The findings indicate these strategies allow Latinas to adapt to mainstream American society while preserving their own culture’s habits, customs and traditions whenever possible.

Keywords: Latin Americans, women immigrants, social adaptation

Cataloged by: Peter Nelson/ B. J. Perkins

 

Land of plenty? : Vietnamese neighborhoods in Worcester, MA

Title: Land of plenty? : Vietnamese neighborhoods in Worcester, MA

Author: Donin, Amy

Date: May 2012

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

This research study of the Vietnamese community in Worcester, Massachusetts examines their neighborhood locations in the city and whether they have the qualities of traditional ethnic enclaves. Driven largely by informant interviews, it then analyzes the social and material benefits available to this population. The author finds that although many in the Vietnamese community in Worcester are upwardly mobile and integrated into the greater Worcester community, a large portion are struggling and in need of services. The paper concludes that a better understanding of the gaps in service, particularly in terms of language, will allow city agencies and local service organizations to better respond to the unmet needs of the growing Vietnamese population so they can more fully adapt to life in the U.S.

Keywords: Vietnamese, communication barriers, social adaptation

Cataloged by: Peter Nelson/ B. J. Perkins

Uncovering the gap: A study of organizations’ perspectives of and responses to violence against immigrant women in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Uncovering the gap: A study of organizations’ perspectives of and responses to violence against immigrant women in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Byrne, Sarah E.

Date: May 2008

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

The paper explores the perceptions of and responses to violence against immigrant women by anti-violence and immigrant organizations in Worcester, Massachusetts. The author conducted interviews with leaders of these organizations in order to identify the gaps in extending services to immigrant women by examining the structural violence deeply embedded in their organizations.  The author concludes that organizations can begin to bridge the gap between their perceptions and responses by increasing cultural sensitivity, building partnerships between themselves and immigrant communities and critically assessing the structural violence within their own organizations.

Keywords: women, immigrants, violence against women, immigrant women

Cataloged by: Peter Nelson/ B. J. Perkins

A marketing plan for the Bahati Mamas

Title: A marketing plan for the Bahati Mamas

Author: Gallardo, Adriana

Date: May 2014

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community and Environment and Graduate School of Management

Refugee farmers are important and often overlooked actors who contribute to the local agricultural industry. This paper explores the entrepreneurial opportunities available to immigrants and refugees participating in small scale agricultural programs in San Diego County and identifies small farming enterprises as vehicles to achieve social and economic self-sufficiency. The author used a combination of primary and secondary data including qualitative interviews with representatives of farming organizations working with refugees and immigrants in the Bronx (New York) Worcester and Lowell (Massachusetts) and Portland (Maine). The paper provides a case study of Bahati Mamas, a Somali Bantu women’s cooperative in San Diego that is contributing to the local food movement through small scale farming. The report concludes with a marketing plan for Bahati Mamas that recommends some short and long-term strategies to expand their market reach.

Keywords: refugee farmers, farming, food production, entrepreneur, Somali Bantu, San Diego, CA

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins