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Refugee Experiences of Relocation to the US

July 28 2022
1:00 PM EDT

What families and young children experience prior to resettlement in the US is often misunderstood or misrepresented by the media. Please join as we hear from Pamoja Early Childhood Workforce Program and early childhood educators who have experienced resettlement. Learn about the assets these families bring to communities and the workforce, as well as what they want systems to know about their experiences.


  • Rasha Al-Shakhshir
  • Soad Altaai, Pamoja Early Childhood Workforce Program
  • Emtinan Bussairi, M.Ed, Pamoja Early Childhood Workforce Program
  • Fateme Jafair, Pamoja Early Childhood Workforce Program
  • Deborah Young, Pamoja Early Childhood Workforce Program

As the war in Ukraine perseveres, its adverse effects on a nation of children become more deeply rooted. And we are reminded that Ukrainian children, many of whom have been forced to flee with their families, are not the first to suffer this fate. In 2020, half of the 34 million refugees and asylum seekers forcibly displaced from their own countries were children. But upon arrival to this country, many refugees of color are soon faced with the additional burdens of inequitable, racist, and anti-Black immigration/refugee policies, and they realize this country may not provide the solution to their problems.

The BUILD Initiative will present a webinar series featuring the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), Civitas Strategies, University of California San Francisco, Pamoja Early Childhood Workforce Program (Empowering Communities Global), and other experts in the field, including refugees, exploring: 1) how racism continues to traumatize immigrants and refugees, and 2) strategies that build on refugee and immigrant strength and resilience.

The series will illuminate:

The history of racism and anti-Blackness in US immigration and refugee policies and how these continue to impact families and young children.
The strength, resilience, and assets refugee children and families bring to communities.
The trauma created by situations in immigrant and refugee countries of origin, the resettlement process, and US attitudes toward immigrants and refugees.
Refugee families’ wants and needs from early childhood systems.
Strategies and approaches early childhood systems and programs can implement to support refugee families and young children.

Other Topics in the Series

Future webinars in the series will focus on informed response to refugee trauma; early care and education programs and systems supporting refugee families and children; and policy and fiscal supports for refugee families and children.

We Hope You Will Join Us

The director of SOS Children’s Villages in Ukraine has noted that as the war persists, it is leaving a “traumatized generation” as a legacy. Join us for this webinar series as we recognize the generations of refugees who have arrived here, including those who have endured and continue to endure racism, and we discuss how we can intervene in an equitable, community-building, and anti-racist way on behalf of all immigrant and refugee children and families.

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