Join Us in Utah for the Displacement Today TSOS Lecture Series, 21-23 October 2021

Integration is a process that enables a newcomer to achieve an “equal footing with the native population in terms of functioning in society,” … “particularly through meaningful socioeconomic inclusion.” (Jacobs and Rea 2007)

Integration, not assimilation.

Assimilation demands the abandonment of home customs, language, and heritage to protect the native community from any discomfort stemming from obvious differences than their norm.

Most often, the process of integrating takes years and is complex in nature. From learning the language and customs, to establishing home and livelihood, the most successful integration is a two-way street requiring “adaptation on the part of the newcomer but also by the host society. Favell 2001).

Humane integration results in “self-actualization” and as a longer-term result, economies and communities made stronger by diversity.

STORIES MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Stories have the power to leave a lasting imprint on the human heart and mind. Refugee stories can open doors for greater understanding and more meaningful conversations that lead to newcomers becoming pillars of stronger communities. To successfully integrate, refugees must recover, establish a level of security, develop bonds of friendship and belonging, feel a sense of achievement over time, and self-actualize as problem solvers in their communities. Our stories are the unique fibers we all weave into one vibrant and strong fabric of community.

RECOVERY

Reunification with family, shelter, food, and clothing are the first signs of welcome and peace to refugees who want to heal and move forward in their journey of integration.

SECURITY

Helping refugees find a way to provide for their families is more than an investment in jobs and economic growth, it is an investment in peace and future generations.

BELONGING

Each newcomer longs to become a contributing member of the community and to feel accepted. Friendship and connection comes from starting a conversation or listening to a story. Developing trusted relationships comes from inviting newcomers to participate in everyday activities that promote friendship.

ACHIEVEMENT

Positive and engaging reception breaks barriers and provides opportunity for self-determination and recovery of dignity and respect. Newcomers who recognize their contributions and feel the freedom to maintain jewels of their culture, can weave strong bonds within their new communities.

CONTRIBUTORS

When newcomers fulfill their potential, they accept themselves and others with the ability to focus on problem-solving with an objective perspective. They are highly creative and proud of their heritage and culture, and their experience helps them better appreciate relationships. They get involved and contribute because of their concern for humanity, coupled with strong moral and ethical standards.

COUNTRIES FROM WHICH MORE THAN 10,000 REFUGEES ORIGINATED IN 2019
Syria
345,700
DRC
99,500
Afghanistan
57,000
Central African Republic
45,300
Burma
43,500
Nigeria
37,900
Cameroon
34,100
Sudan
30,200
Eritrea
21,100
Iran
11,300

These 11 countries represent 97% of refugees generated

79.5 million
people forced to flee from conflict and persecution by the end of 2019
COUNTRIES HOSTING MORE THAN 500,000 REFUGEES
Turkey
3,681,700
Jordan
2,922,000
West Bank / Gaza Strip
2,214,800
Lebanon
1,419,200
Pakistan
1,404,000
Colombia
1,171,900
Uganda
1,165,700
Sudan
1,078,300
Germany
1,063,800
Iran
979,400
Bangladesh
906,600
Ethiopia
903,200
Syria
551,900
DRC
529,000

Standard Bearer Communities

TSOS shows how different communities successfully navigate refugee integration with policies and practices that build stronger neighborhoods and boroughs. The stories of these neighborhoods illustrate inspirational movements of collective welcome and support. Communities redefine themselves through their success in resettlement - seeing the strength of a strong social webwork of local citizens and refugees connecting with and learning from one another. These stories demonstrate that an investment in new neighbors is an investment in our own vitality.

Through a successful model of building welcoming communities, Fairfax County, Virginia brings community-based organizations together to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

TSOS COMMUNITY PROGRAM COORDINATORS

TSOS Community Programs provide opportunities to participate in local refugee integration through:

PARTNERSHIPS

Collaborating with already established refugee service organizations that provide service-learning opportunities, cultural awareness events, and local refugee mentorship that create long-term friendships with local “newcomers.”

EDUCATION

Offering free access to primary and secondary curriculum to better connect academic learning the causes and effects of a global crisis where millions of people are forcibly displaced each year.

INTERNSHIPS

Creating opportunities for local college and university campuses to participate in internships pairing refugees with non-refugees for training in writing, video, archive, and podcast storytelling.

ADVOCACY

Participating in developing positive community changes that eliminate prejudice and promote welcoming “newcomers” and strengthen communities.

STORY GATHERING/STORY TELLING

Connecting with refugees through local refugee events, promoting refugee organizations, refugee artists, and refugee heroes in an effort to establish good will and recognition of the positive aspects of “newcomers,”

EVENTS

Supporting educational initiatives, story gathering and sharing, and service learning opportunities with the locals and partners through school assemblies, and planned events..

To participate in the Community programs please join our next event in your community.

We welcome anyone wanting to join with our hands on the ground, and encourage you to visit the page for the Community program near you.

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