Refugee and Migrant Education Network Conference at Manhattan College

From November 15th to the 17th, 2018 Guilford senior Kathleen Herbst — an English major and ECAR and Political Science double minor — attended the Global Initiatives in Refugee and Migrant Education conference at Manhattan College in New York City. The conference was hosted by the Refugee and Migrant Education Network and co-partnered with the Center for Interreligious Understanding, and Being the Blessing. Herbst proudly represented ECAR on the Student Best Practices panel.
“It was really exciting to talk about my experience with ECAR and afterward 3 or 4 people asked how they can start a chapter. They haven’t surfaced yet because it’s only been a couple of months, but it looks very promising. I think ECAR was especially exciting to people because it can be implemented at any school and can be adjusted to what the school has to offer,” Herbst said.
The keynote speakers included the president of Catholic University in Iraq, Dr. Stephen Rasche; the senior director of International Migration Policy at the Center for Migration Studies, Kevin Appleby; Archbishop Bernadito Auza; as well as the founder and chief executive officer of BanQu, Ashish Gadnis. The conference was inspired by Pope Francis. The Holy Father called on the Catholic community to learn about and assist refugees at a conference in Rome in 2017.
The goals of the Global Initiatives and Migrant Education conference were to 1) understand better the realities and needs of refugees, 2) devise strategies in order to assist refugees in furthering their education, 3) identify key potential research needs of relief agencies and devise ways of responding, 4) share best practices regarding education about migrants and refugees within the university context and ways of engaging university students in social responsibility, and lastly, 5) provide an opportunity to further build the Refugee and Migrant Education Network (source).
Herbst helped serve the purpose of the fourth goal by sharing ways other students and professors can implement ECAR just by utilizing the resources on their own college campuses. ECAR is very malleable and low cost, so it can be relatively easy to enact, whether it is at a university or a church.
“It was good to see that my peers are passionate about this work, and it’s not just the Guilford bubble. ECAR is spreading, everyone who works with us has this goal of making a more welcoming place,” Herbst said.

Kathleen Herbst speaking on the panel for Student Best Practices.

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