From sheeps and tobacco to pizza and pancakes: Greek immigrant entrepreneurs in Worcester’s food business

Title: From sheeps and tobacco to pizza and pancakes: Greek immigrant entrepreneurs in Worcester’s food business

Author: Lenis, Catherin

Date: May 2014

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

This paper explores the phenomenon of Greek immigrant food entrepreneurs in Worcester, Massachusetts. Throughout the twentieth century major waves of Greeks immigrated to Worcester and through the process of kinship migration and familial networks gravitated towards specific business niches. This study examines the high volume of Greek owned pizza places and diners in Worcester from the late 1980s to the present as one such business niche. The hard work of the Greek immigrants and familial support led them to entrepreneurial success in the food business. However, all participants in this study emphasized the importance of education for their children and for their continued success in reaching their goals.

Keywords: Greek immigrants, business niche, food entrepreneur, pizza

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

Using the PEERS program to decrease isolation among elderly refugees in Worcester, MA

Title: Using the PEERS program to decrease isolation among elderly refugees in Worcester, MA

Author: Goldner, Deanna

Date: May 2013

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

This paper explores the problem of isolation of elderly refugees in Worcester, Massachusetts. It also looks at the role resettlement agencies play in that isolation. To explore the status of the city of Worcester, the study analyzed mental health programs for refugees in the United States and outlined the best practices and gaps in services for refugees suffering from mental illness. The author highlights the challenges of western based diagnosis and perceptions of mental illness in a multicultural context. The report concludes that an expanded PEERS program (Program to Enhance Elderly Refugee Services) will be most effective in combating elderly isolation and providing positive mental health outcomes with elderly clients in Worcester.

Keywords: refugees, mental health, suicide, multicultural, PEERS, geriatric health

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

Enhancing health promotion through community collaboration: Working with Ghanaian and Liberian immigrants in in Worcester, MA

Title: Enhancing health promotion through community collaboration: Working with Ghanaian and Liberian immigrants in in Worcester, MA

Author: Parmenter, Sarah

Date: May 2008

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

This paper provides research into the Liberian and Ghanaian immigrant populations in Worcester and how they make health care choices. By way of interviews with members of these immigrant populations as well as with community leaders and community health care providers, the research sheds light on the context of health care choices and strategies for effective health promotion. The author discusses multiple interacting issues involved in health choices and concludes that approaches to effective health promotion within these communities should be collaborative in nature among health centers, community groups and the immigrant populations.

Keywords: refugees, health care, health education, community health workers, resettlement

Cataloged by: Amy Totten/ B. J. Perkins

Connecting the dots: An evaluation of Worcester’s coordinated community response network to end domestic violence in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Connecting the dots: An evaluation of Worcester’s coordinated community response network to end domestic violence

Author: Getto, Erica Leigh

Date: May 2010

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

This paper evaluates the current successes and challenges of the Coordinated Community Response Network (CCRN), which is an active coalition of organizations and institutions in Worcester, Massachusetts working to respond to and end domestic violence. The author reviews best practices of response networks in other parts of the U.S. and supplies data obtained from both semi-informal interviews with CCRN members and from participant observation at CCRN roundtable meetings. Five key successes and challenges are identified along with recommendations for further operation of the network in pursuit of their mission.

Keywords: domestic violence, refugees, community response network

Cataloged by: Amy Totten/ B. J. Perkins

Mental health of Iraqi refugee women in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Mental health of Iraqi refugee women in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Almadbooh, Ronza

Date: May 2014

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

This paper investigates the mental health of Iraqi refugee women from the Mandaean sect who live in Worcester, MA. Qualitative data was gathered through focus groups and interviews with Iraqi women refugees of various ages. Two research questions framed the interviews. What happened to the women’s lives when they became refugees in Worcester, Massachusetts after the Iraq war in 2003? What are the challenges they faced during their resettlement in the city? The author argues that poverty, difficult lived conditions and disrupted social cohesion have negatively influenced the mental health of the interviewed women, resulting in increased stress, anxiety and depression.

Keywords: refugees, community groups, immigration services, refugee services, refugee health, mental health, resettlement.

Cataloged by: Amy Totten/ B. J. Perkins

Remaking home: The importance of engagement in agricultural livelihood activities for resettled refugees

Title: Remaking home: The importance of engagement in agricultural livelihood activities for resettled refugees

Author: Penkala, Kristen

Date: May 2014

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

Forced displacement separates individuals from their homes, land and livelihoods. This study explores the experience of resettled refugees in the U.S. who were farmers in their homeland and the impact of their reconnecting to the land through farming in the U.S. The study uses the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach to assess the importance of the project. Based on a combination of participant observation and informal and in-depth interviews with the resettled refugees on New Land Farm in Worcester, Massachusetts, the author identifies the factors that enable refugees to feel “at home” through livelihood activities. The findings emphasize the importance of livelihood for individuals during their transition to a new home.  The author concludes that resettlement agencies need to reevaluate their programs and include participation in familiar livelihoods.   

Keywords: refugees, resettlement, farming, livelihood, sustainable livelihoods

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/Peter Nelson/ B. J. Perkins

 

 

 

Worker owned cooperatives: An economic empowerment model for immigrant communities in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Worker owned cooperatives:  An economic empowerment model for immigrant communities in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Rivera, Jessica

Date: May 2014

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

This paper explores worker owned cooperatives as a model of sustainable job creation and economic development for immigrants living in Worcester, Massachusetts. Based on informal interviews and consultation with secondary data, the author examines the strengths and challenges of the worker owned cooperative and its workforce development model. After an analysis of Worcester’s current cooperative movement the study provides recommendations aimed at fostering a cooperative environment that will attract immigrants by increasing community awareness, strengthening local networking, and supporting growth and market expansion.

Keywords: immigrants, cooperatives, job creation.

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

High prevalence of suicide ideation and refugee assistance: An investigative study among Bhutanese refugees in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: High prevalence of suicide ideation and refugee assistance: An investigative study among Bhutanese refugees in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Pun, Prayas

Date: May 2014

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

This study investigates the high incidence of suicide ideation among Bhutanese refugees located in Worcester, Massachusetts and the short comings of the resettlement system that has led refugees to this vulnerable situation. The author also examines the link between the high prevalence of suicide ideation and the assistance offered to incoming refugees by the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and its affiliates. Based on informal interviews with clients, observation and secondary data, the author finds that a lack of interagency coordination, the short duration of refugee assistance and static refugee-integration frameworks have failed to address the individual needs of refugees. The current study concludes with recommendations to update policy, legislation and programs to address these needs.

Keywords: refugees, suicide, refugee resettlement, USRAP

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

Delving into the realm of refugees and their mental health services in Worcester, Massachusetts: Exploring the limits of access and barriers

Title: Delving into the realm of refugees and their mental health services in Worcester, Massachusetts: Exploring the limits of access and barriers

Author: Shrestha, Chandani

Date: May 2015

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

This paper examines the gaps that exist in the accessibility and use of mental health services for refugees in Worcester, Massachusetts by using a combination of oral narratives, informal interviews and secondary data. The author identifies a number of reasons that mental health services are underutilized by refugees including a lack of resources and knowledge, inadequate transportation, a limited number of culturally sensitive service providers and interpreters, language barriers and stigma. The paper concludes by highlighting the important role resettlement agencies and health care providers can play in facilitating access to mental health services for refugees in Worcester.

Keywords: refugee, mental health, health services

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

Unsettled resettlement: Refugees and changed family dynamics in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Unsettled resettlement: Refugees and changed family dynamics in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Stephens, Benjamin

Date: May 2008

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

This paper examines how resettlement processes affect relationships in refugee families. It focuses on family dynamics pertaining particularly to partner and parent-child relations. The author argues that resettlement creates new circumstances that cause changes and modifications in family relationships that can increase tensions and have profound transformative impacts on refugee family dynamics. The paper concludes by highlighting several avenues for further research.

Keywords: refugees, family disunity, family unity, family dynamics, social adaptation, resettlement

Cataloged by: Peter Nelson/ B. J. Perkins