A 2018-2019 Initiative highlighting the experiences of refugees in the US, through a collaboration of performance/art, media studies, and policy discussions that brings together students, nonprofit partners, and faculty within PSFA.

The Initiative

This Initiative seeks to highlight refugee experiences at SDSU and beyond, because it is a timely and appropriate response to perhaps the most important current policy battle in the country. Our very policy relevant departments (JMS, COMM, SPA) have the expertise and community networks to craft an informed public response. SDSU students are directly impacted by the iterations of the Muslim Ban, and the targeting of Somali, Vietnamese, Guatemalan, and Cambodian residents just within the past 12 months.

San Diego receives more refugees than any other California county – we believe this is part of our job, and institutional responsibility, to take a public stance on the targeting of San Diego communities. In the longer term, the Initiative will build towards greater university resources on this campus for affected students and supports the work of non-governmental agency partners serving our surrounding community. Our campus has a 13% Asian American student population, many of whom are Southeast Asian and may have families or friends impacted by the ongoing targeted deportation and detention of Vietnamese, Cambodian, and other refugees. Additionally, the Initiative also brings some focus to Mexican border issues and Chicano/a identities, as well as the long-standing Central American refugee population whose status as protected migrants has been evoked under the current presidential administration. We are a border city, true, but one with more than just one border.

The Deliverables:

  1. Website highlighting work of faculty & groups on campus that would be external facing;
  2. Community Conversations 2018-2019 guided by community experts (external NGOs + SDSU student groups + SDSU service centers);
  3. Stakeholder Conference at end of Spring 2019 in City Heights, which would be a nice extension of our School and University’s involvement in the first public private partnership to redevelop City Heights back in the 1990s;
  4. NEH Humanities Connection Planning grant ($35k) + Implementation Grant ($75k);
  5. NEH Humanities Connection at HSI grant ($100k);
  6. A Research Consortium on San Diego Refugee Experiences;
  7. A Research Center proposal;
  8. An interdisciplinary minor studies or certificate program proposal.

Make a gift to Refugee American

For more information, contact: