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Seeking Refuge in a Changing World: a series of events in 2017-2018

Seeking Refuge in a Changing World is a collaborative project that investigates a world of people in flux. In a series of multidisciplinary explorations, the collaborative will investigate the global developments forcing people to seek refuge, the motivations and experiences of refugees themselves, the impact of these migrations on sending and receiving communities, and the political, social, environmental and cultural responses to mass migrations around the globe. Events will span the 2017-2018 academic year and will include public lectures, panels, educator workshops, and arts exhibitions, culminating in a daylong symposium in April. Seeking Refuge will kick off with an event on Wednesday, September 13 from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm on the Washington Avenue Bridge at the University of Minnesota. Multiple interactive activities designed to engage audiences and provoke dialogue on immigration and refugee issues will take place along the pedestrian walkway. Multimedia artist Ifrah Mansour will perform and invite participants to contribute to “Somalia's Balloon," a show that educates about Somalia and the importance of everyone needing a home (12:00 pm - 1:00 pm). Additional activities will include printmaking, typewriting, an exhibit showcasing photojournalism from WWII Displaced Persons Camps from the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and videos from the Immigration History Research Center’s Immigrant Stories project (immigrantstories.umn.edu). Seeking Refuge in a Changing World is a joint effort of the Institute for Global Studies, African Studies Initiative, Center for Austrian Studies, Center for German and European Studies, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Human Rights Program, and the Immigration History Research Center. Collectively, these centers support interdisciplinary research and facilitate community outreach.
Photo of Erika Lee giving an interview

No One Is a Stranger

The e-mails started flooding historian Erika Lee’s inbox the week after the election of Donald J. Trump. Lee, who is director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota and has written extensively about US immigration history, recalls that her fellow scholars had “questions like ‘what are we going to do when the deportation trains start running again?’”