Network Launches National Study on Refugee Perspectives on Race & Racism in the U.S.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
<figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*Q0-R6_GVdOIzJYfZrQiEjQ.png" /></figure><p>The <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io"><strong>Hello Neighbor Network</strong></a><strong>, </strong>with the generous support of <a href="https://walmart.org/how-we-give">The Walmart Foundation</a>,<strong> </strong>is undertaking one of the first national research studies of its kind to understand refugee adult perspectives on race and racism in the U.S. Depending on country of origin, refugees may face race discrimination and violence and carry their own histories of racism from their country of origin. Many do not have an understanding of the history of race, racism, and what it means to be anti-racist in the U.S.</p><p>The findings of our baseline literature review and key informant interviews have been summarized in a brief, “<a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/research">Race & Racism in the U.S.: Educational Gaps for Resettled Refugees”</a> researched and prepared by Jessie Hughes, 2021 Network Intern.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/500/1*P6FgD85izwreq4VGA5w-1w.png" /><figcaption>“<a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/research">Race & Racism in the U.S.: Educational Gaps for Resettled Refugees”</a></figcaption></figure><h3>Baseline Understanding of Formal Education</h3><p>As a first phase in this study, the Network conducted a baseline study to understand the existing formal education available to adult refugees in the resettlement process. The resulting brief sought to answer two questions:</p><ul><li>What are specific acculturation trainings currently in place for adults 18+ moving through the refugee resettlement process?</li><li>Of those, what currently exists for refugee adults around the history of race and racism?</li></ul><p>An overview of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and Orientation to the U.S. is outlined below. Throughout the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Process there are multiple opportunities for orientation to life in the U.S. Many International, Federal, and Volunteer Resettlement Agencies use a set of trainings known as CORE (Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange) and may supplement with additional trainings.</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1024/1*oes0zdLFkzcqYq36drnLdw.png" /></figure><p>Despite these opportunities for training through the CORE series, based on a literature review and key informant interviews, <strong>our baseline research demonstrated there is no education on the history of race and racism in this country included in formal orientation process.</strong></p><p>On the U.S. Department of Education website under Educational Resources for Immigrants, Refugees, Asylees, and other New Americans there is just one reference to race-based discrimination. This is within the context of the Office of Civil Rights, positioning it as a resource for those facing discrimination “on the basis of race, color, national origin (including lack of English proficiency), disability, sex and age” in federally-funded programs. All other education resources for adult learners are related to literacy, mathematics, English language, or career and technical education and this is where the majority of educational research has focused as well.</p><h3>Key Takeaways</h3><ol><li>The CORE series does not currently include the U.S. history of race and racism as part of the curriculum, and only briefly mentions race as an element of society in the U.S.</li><li>Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are quickly adapting to current cultural needs in their ability to offer trainings on these histories and how they impact our contemporary society in the United States. As a result there is great potential for CBOs to be leveraged going forward.</li></ol><h3>The Research Gap</h3><p>The opportunity, then, is to fill this gap in research to better understand refugee’s internalized racism as well as their understanding and experience of racism in their countries of origin and then in the U.S. and the role they play as neighbors and community members. This research will provide a baseline to develop educational resources that are sorely lacking specific to refugees.</p><h3>Next Steps</h3><p>The Hello Neighbor Network is proud to partner with <a href="https://www.refugeesintowns.org">Tufts University’s Refugees in Towns initiative</a> and Dr. Karen Jacobsen, and <a href="https://www.umass.edu">University of Massachusetts-Amherst</a>’s Dr. Linda Tropp and PhD student, Cierra Abellera, on the next phases of the study.</p><p>The next phase of research will be conducted through two main approaches:</p><ol><li><strong>A national survey</strong>: Led by UMass Amherst, this survey will be distributed among Network members and affiliates to be completed by adult refugees in their communities for a quantitative analysis of current formal and informal education and awareness of racism in the U.S. The survey was developed with input from Black community leaders in Pittsburgh and piloted with refugees in Hello Neighbor’s programs.</li><li><strong>Two in-depth case studies</strong>: Led by Tufts University, there will be two case studies conducted, one in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and one in Mobile, Alabama with graduate student researchers through the <a href="https://www.refugeesintowns.org/">Refugees in Towns initiative</a> for a deep qualitative understanding of perceptions of race and racism among two specific refugee communities.</li></ol><h3>Learn More</h3><p><strong>To learn more about this research as it evolves, hear from communities directly impacted by the work, and be the among the first to see findings, you can </strong><a href="https://helloneighbor.us14.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bf57b31f98292f5d388a5f656&id=210ae6f9c4"><strong>subscribe to our newsletter</strong></a><strong>.</strong></p><p>Initial findings and ongoing conversations were held at the <a href="https://www.refugeesintowns.org/2022conference">Refugee Integration Conference and Arts Festival</a> (March 4–5, at Tufts University and online) and the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/2021-convening">Hello Neighbor Network Convening</a> (June 7–9, in Pittsburgh for Network members).</p><figure><img alt="" src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/202/0*4WkiYfUOT2tc6pET.png" /></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.neighbornetwork.io/">Hello Neighbor Network</a>. The Hello Neighbor Network accepts applications for Fellows every fall. <a href="http://eepurl.com/hnAmkT">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to be the first to know when applications open.</p><img alt="" height="1" src="https://medium.com/_/stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=e72c6dc4e7" width="1" /><hr /><p><a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network/network-launches-national-study-on-refugee-perspectives-on-race-racism-in-the-u-s-e72c6dc4e7">Network Launches National Study on Refugee Perspectives on Race & Racism in the U.S.</a> was originally published in <a href="https://medium.com/hello-neighbor-network">Hello Neighbor Network</a> on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.</p>
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