The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

48 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL School Campuses as Sites for Resettlement and Integration Diya Abdo, Ph.D., is the Lincoln Financial Professor of English at Guilford College. A second-generation Palestinian refugee born and raised in Jordan, she focuses her teaching, research, and scholarship on Arab women writers and Arab and Islamic feminisms. Her book, American Refuge: True Stories of the Refugee Experience, was published by Steerforth Press in 2022 (see review on page 36). In 2015 Abdo founded Every Campus A Refuge, which advocates for housing refugee families on college and university campus grounds and supporting them in their resettlement. She is the recipient of the J.M. Kaplan Fund’s Innovation Prize (2021), Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award (2019), Gulf South Summit’s Outstanding Service-Learning Collaboration in Higher Education Award (2017), and the Washington Center’s Higher Education Civic Engagement Award (2017). FEATURE The founder of Every Campus A Refuge describes efforts at colleges and universities nationwide to ensure refugees feel welcomed. BY DIYA ABDO More than 110 million individuals are displaced in the world right now, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR). That number grows every single day. While the U.S. is a world leader in resettlement, less than 1 percent of refugees globally will ever achieve resettlement. A June 2023 study by American Immigration Council shows that refugees contributed more than $25 billion in taxes and had a spending power of more than $68.6 billion in 2019, and “similar to other immigrant populations, refugees are more likely to start businesses than native-born Americans.” That same study shows that in 2019, entrepreneurs made up 13 percent of the workingage refugee population, compared to 11.7 percent of native-born Americans. Given the global need for an increase in resettlement and that local communities can be transformed by the diversity, knowledge, skills, and contributions that newcomers often bring, how can we both expand resettlement and invest in refugees’ inclusion and belonging to ensure they feel welcomed and want to stay when they arrive in the U.S.? WELCOMING REFUGEES ISTOCK.COM/BSPOLLARD