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

Worcester Refugee Consultation Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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

Cataloged by: Patrick Barnosky / B.J. Perkins