Author: Breen, John, Thomas Fay, Peerapat Luxsuwong, Mark Overdeest and Yunjae Sohn.
Description: Qualifying Project Report, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
This project was intended to determine the most effective design for a bioshelter that would serve as a year-round urban food production system to be used and co-managed by refugees in Worcester, MA. This bioshelter was designed to take advantage of natural solar, wind and water resources, including a rain catchment system, a climate battery, thermal mass, composting, natural heating and ventilation systems. This project was designed to be built on two unused lots, and to serve as a gathering space as well as a food production site. Refugees living in Worcester will utilize the bioshelter to grow crops to sell and supplement their incomes.
Keywords: Bioshelter, Refugee farmers, Urban Farming, Year Round Farming
Title: Refugee Youth Challenges and Unique Needs in Worcester Public Schools that are Satisfied by African Community Education
Author: Heidi L. Biron
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.
Title: “Refugee Industrial Complex,” Neoliberal Governance within the Resettlement Industry and Its Effects: Is An Alternative Structure Possible?
Author: Al-Dasouqui, Amira F.
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.
Title: When We Were Home: A Collection of Memories from Burmese Refugee Youth
Author: Compiled by Mark Fusunyan, Courtney Temple and Alyse Wheelock; illustrations by Hay Reh
Description: This is a collection of stories and artwork by Burmese refugee youth living in Worcester, MA, compiled by volunteers with the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project. The images and narratives tell the stories of various youth whose families fled the ongoing civil conflict in Burma. These youth lived in refugee camps along the border of Burma and Thailand, before being resettled as refugees in Worcester. The stories touch on topics of Burmese culture, life in the refugee camps, the youth’s journey to the U.S., their expectations, realities, challenges and successes.
Title: Internship Reports (Clark University, Department of International Development and Social Change)
Date: 2011 – 2013
Description: “Background on Food Security and Farmer’s Markets,” “Marketing Plan for the Main South Farmers Market at YMCA Family Park,” “Vendor Information Catalog: Biographies of Vendors and Crops Sold at the Markets: Beaver Brook Market, REC Main South Market,” “Working Literature Review of Refugee Education Interventions.”
Title: Main South Promise Neighborhood Partnership [draft]
Description: A proposal for the Main South neighborhood in Worcester to become a U.S. Department of Education “Promise Neighborhood.” The proposal details the demonstrated community and academic needs in the neighborhood, and plans to provide “cradle through college through career solutions” to improve educational outcomes, youth development and well-being, as well as revitalize the community. This plan includes school partnerships, innovation school development, youth engagement, student support programs, housing rehabilitation, built environment improvements. The proposal is presented by the United Way of Central Massachusetts, Clark University, Worcester Public Schools, the Main South Community Development Corporation, and the Worcester Education Collaborative, and includes community and youth involvement in planning.
Keywords: Promise Neighborhood, Education Partnerships, Youth Development, Community Revitalization
Description: An overview of the project to record and preserve the stories of recent immigrants and refugees to Worcester, MA, developed by the New England Archivists with the assistance of StoryCorps, and in collaboration with Worcester Historical Museum, Lutheran Social Services, the Worcester Cultural Development Office and the Worcester Women’s Oral History Project.
Title: Worcester Refugee Consultation Meeting Agendas and Minutes
Date: 2016 – Current
Description: A collection of agendas ad meeting minutes for Worcester Refugee Consultation Meetings in Worcester, MA. These consultation meetings allow for those working on refugee issues in Worcester to come together to discuss recent trends, successes and challenges, and a variety of relevant issues, in order to share experiences and solutions, network and support each other. Attendees include resettlement agency representatives, caseworkers, health care professionals, other service providers, government officials and researchers.
Keywords: Service Providers, Consultation Meetings, Partnerships