SUPPORTING NEW AMERICAN COMMUNITIES IN UTAH
For decades, the Salt Lake City area has been a U.S refugee resettlement site and destination for economic migrants. Over 17,000 refugees have been resettled in Utah and approximately 1,000 new individuals come each year. The needs and strengths of communities from immigrant and refugee backgrounds are multifaceted. As newcomers in the community many residents have limited communication skills, social systems knowledge, and cultural capital necessary to build their lives in their new home. Simultaneously, these New Americans bring rich histories, diverse perspective and multicultural knowledge and skills to Utah.
As an outgrowth of the university-community partnership work done by the University Neighborhood Partners and the Bennion Center, this Think Tank will provide students and partners with an engaged learning experience while delving into the complexities and assets of emerging New American communities and integration pathways. Participants will explore questions of culture and community that provide a context for understanding integration as a two-way process in which both the newcomers and the host societies are changed.
Within an action-scholar framework, students and community partners will work together to design and implement community-engaged projects.
Some examples of possible projects include: Conducting community needs/strengths assessment Fund development infrastructure planning (including developing a case for support, conducting grant research, etc.) Volunteer management Building Collaborations/ partnership networks Developing and conducting trainings and workshops.
Nancy Basinger, Ph.D., Public Administration, Lowell Bennion Center
Rosemarie Hunter, Ph.D., Social Work, University Neighborhood Partners.