Every Campus A Refuge
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Every Campus A Refuge

A professor's initiative to help refugee families ready to take off

16
Every Campus A Refuge
Kat Miller

On February 18, the United Nations announced they will begin dropping aid into Syria, specifically in areas where ISIL has taken over. All sides are considering a cease-fire. Refugees are making it into neighboring countries and even as far as the United States.

At the same time, peace talks are being cancelled. American and Russian airstrikes are continuing. Refugees are being denied, and many of them are dying because of it.

At Guilford College, one woman, Associate Professor of English and chair of the department, Diya Abdo, has decided it's time to take a stand.

In 2015, Abdo, who is herself the daughter of Palestinian refugees, launched Every Campus A Refuge, an initiative that aims to encourage every college campus in the United States to house just one refugee.

The idea stemmed from the Pope's call to every Catholic Parish in Europe to take in a refugee family.

"The word for a university campus in Arabic is haram (ph) which means, literally, a sanctuary or a refuge," Abdo said in an interview with NPR. "We have facilities for housing. We have medical facilities. We have hundreds of human beings with various skills. We have cafeterias. So why not, why not take on the Pope's call and become a refuge?"

Abdo's initiative has not been easy. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has insisted the state be among those to refuse Syrian refugees. Still, Abdo has pushed forward and her efforts have been rewarded. In the past few months, several universities, including Amherst College, UNC Chapel Hill, Wilson College and Yale University, have contacted Abdo, all expressing interest in getting involved.

Guilford College itself has also been very supportive, as have many in the Greensboro community, such as the African Services Coalition, a non-profit resettlement agency. “We’re trying to do the right thing during this humanitarian crisis within our powers to do so,” said Guilford College President Jane Fernandes in an interview with the Washington Post. “It just seems like it’s our moral responsibility to do something if we can.”

While the vetting process, which can take up to two years, is long and arduous, Abdo, along with several student volunteers and supportive staff members, aims to have a refugee family on campus early this year.

Beyond that, the goal is to reach out to schools across the country, truly making every campus a refuge.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Stephanie Tango

The pandemic has been in our world for more than half of 2020 and people are still acting stupid. If anything, they're getting stupider. They think that the virus is gone. It's not. Stop going to frat parties. Stop trying to go places without a mask. I wish things were normal, too. They're not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Kai Parlett

In the summer of 2017, 20 type 1 diabetics completed a 10-week 4,000+ mile bike ride from New York to California. They biked against the advice of doctors, family, and friends. Many were skeptical that people with diabetes could complete such a physically challenging trip without putting themselves in danger due to their disease.

Keep Reading... Show less

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.

5417

I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

We all love a good ol' sappy Christmas movie and this year, the Hallmark Channel is finally giving us what we want: diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Seasonal Depression Is Real And It Deserves Our Attention

Check in on your friends throughout the winter season, it can be brutal.

305

As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

September Is Suicide Awareness Month, But Mental H​ealth Is An Everyday Discussion

Mental illnesses deserve our attention 365 days a year.

1036

September is Suicide Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness, further educate yourself, and remember the reality that mental illnesses present. Yet it's critical to understand that suicide awareness is not an annual Instagram hashtag to use and forget. Actively advocating for mental health resources, progress in education, and a broken stigma is an everyday ask — an activity that we can each participate in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments