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Refugee Resettlement Initiative logo

NASH’s RRI aims to create welcoming campuses and promote the inclusion of refugees and displaced communities at universities across the U.S. through three goals:

  1. Raise awareness of a new role that universities can play as co-sponsors and sponsors of refugee students and families;
  2. Provide technical and coordination support in the form of “train the trainers” programs in partnership with “Every Campus a Refuge” (ECAR) and other such organizations; and
  3. Advocate for this work with the federal, state, and private sectors, as well as within systems and their alumni networks.

RRI on Instagram

So happy to announce our #InstagramTakeover hosts!

▪️ Dr. Diya Adbo is the Founder, Director, and President of @everycampusarefuge, and an #RRIChampion.
▪️ Dr. Gül İnanç is the Founder of Opening Universities for Refugees, and the Co-Director of The Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies at The University of Auckland.
▪️ Walid Mosarsaa is the Secretary at Every Campus a Refugee.
▪️ Jane Roche is Program Manager here at the RRI.

Make sure to tune in Monday, March 27th - Thursday, March 30th to hear from the team behind our training "Creating Inclusive Communities Together: Transforming Higher Education Through Refugee Integration."

#EveryCampusARefuge #RefugeeResettlementInitiative #ECAR #RRI
Student Spotlight: Beatriz Silva is a senior at the George Washington University double majoring in International Affairs and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is the Director of New Horizons, a college mentorship program that serves refugee high school students in the DMV area and refugee students at @gwuniversity. Bia’s favorite part of running @new_horizons_gw is seeing mentees succeed! #rri #studentspotlight
We are excited to announce a special #InstagramTakeover hosted by the team behind our training "Creating Inclusive Communities Together: Transforming Higher Education Through Refugee Integration." Stay tuned next week for an official announcement of our hosts! #EveryCampusARefuge
Student Spotlight: Jud-Ann Geneus and Mahima Jain! 

Jud-Ann is a senior at the George Washington University studying International Affairs and minoring in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. Jud-Ann serves as a Network Coordinator alongside Mahima for @nlg_gw, where she is responsible for maintaining relationships with other refugee advocacy groups.

Mahima is a junior at the George Washington University majoring in Economics and International Affairs with a concentration in International Development. Mahima is a Network Coordinator alongside Jud-Ann for @nlg_gw, where she is in charge of fostering connections with other collegiate organizations that support refugees in the DMV area. Network coordinators also plan and host Refugee Awareness Week in the spring semester and the Winter Gala in the fall semester.
As part of "The Road Forward," a blueprint to address New York City's response to asylum seekers, NYC is launching a pilot program with SUNY-Sullivan to provide job training and housing while asylum seekers await work authorization.

The Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) has agreed to house and train 100 recent asylum seekers in their new project SUNY Student Support for College-Bound Refugees. Link in bio to learn more!
Come to the @NewarkMuseumArt on March 30 for a screening of three short films that animate the reality for refugee youth in Syria, Malta, and Newark, followed by a discussion of how to sponsor, support, and expand educational opportunities for refugees in New Jersey.

🔗 Link in bio


Diya Abdo, Ph.D. Founding Director, @everycampusarefuge

Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, @runewark; Co-Chair, Presidents Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education

Tim Raphael, Director, Center for Migration and the Global City; Co-Director, @newestamericans

Hourie Tafech, Postdoctoral Fellow, Guilford College; Co-Founder, @spark15_

Erik Cruz Morales, Policy & Advocacy Manager at the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice @NJImmigrantJustice

Julie Winokur, Executive Director, @talkingeyesmedia; Co-Director, Newest Americans
On Monday 3/13 we’ll hear from NASH’s Communications Director @dabel65, and Dr. Diya Abdo from @everycampusarefuge, experts in public relations and communications, on how to address challenging questions about refugee support when speaking to public audiences.

Don’t forget to register for our quarterly RRI Champion meeting! Link in bio to register.
Student Spotlight: Sarah George is a senior at the George Washington University studying political science and international affairs. Sarah serves as Director of Volunteering for @nlg_gw, where she coordinate opportunities for students to volunteer with refugee-support nonprofits across the Washington, DC area. Her favorite volunteer opportunity so far has been with AsylumWorks at their Thanksgiving community event.
Our #RRIChampion Dr. Diya Abdo at @everycampusarefuge, in partnership with Campus Compact, will hold a coalition conversation focused on higher education's participation over the last year in refugee resettlement and integration. The conversation will serve as an opportunity to highlight some of the work done in higher education and uplift current opportunities for sustainable and transformative higher education practices and programs in the #RefugeeResettlement and integration space.

Join us on March 29th along with a distinguished group of panelists:
Dr. Randy Kluver, Associate Provost and Dean OSU Global, Oklahoma State University;
Shelly Calabrese, Executive Director, The Women's Institute, Russell Sage College;
Nele Feldman, Advisor, University Sponsorship, Community Sponsorship Hub

Link in bio to register!
We're excited to announce Dr. Hourie Tafech as a Special Advisor at the RRI. Her focus is on refugee education and on economic inclusion; she is spearheading the development of the NASH RRI education and work strategy. Tafech is also faculty at Guilford College, where she serves as Program Manager for UARRM, leading the refugee workforce inclusion initiative, which aims to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of refugees in the United States.  Prior to defending her doctoral thesis at Rutgers University, Tafech created the first student-refugee led NGO in Europe, in Malta. #RRI #RefugeeResettlementInitiative
Student Higlight:Aashi Patel is a senior at the @gwuniversity , and serves as Executive Director of @nlg_gw. As ED, Aashi coordinates student leaders advocating for refugee and displaced people, overseeing projects related to federal policy
advocacy, refugee student inclusion on campus, educational events open to the public, and fundraisers for ongoing humanitarian crises. #RRI #refugeeresettlementinitiative #StudentSpotlight
We know that the capacity of American communities to welcome can expand what our government can do alone — and this past year proved it. We’ve seen iconic service organizations, faith institutions, veterans’ groups, diaspora groups, and everyday Americans across the country stepping up to welcome Afghans, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, and other newcomers to their community. Now, with the launch of the Welcome Corps, there is a new, permanent way for more Americans, and a broader range of American institutions, to privately sponsor refugees from crises worldwide.

Learn more about the Welcome Corps by visiting the link in our bio and spread the word to others that may want to help, too.

Why did NASH create The RRI?

The arrival of over 100,000 Afghans and 100,000 Ukrainians in the United States within short periods of time presents an opportunity for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to collaborate and develop action plans to create welcoming communities and promote inclusivity, both to meet the moment and for the long term.

NASH and the Power of Systems began mobilizing in early October 2021 to forge a government and university coalition to address specific and urgent needs—primarily sponsorship and housing—of refugee families. Initially focused on 14 states designated by the U.S. Department of State to resettle Afghan arrivals, NASH’s role has been to increase the number of welcoming systems and campuses, work with key partners to build an efficient ecosystem among campuses, and build state and federal support for IHEs to be able to respond quickly and then become established resettlement partners.

What is The RRI Champion Network?

RRI Champions make up a community of leaders within the NASH member systems from Maryland to Washington state, which work to stand up programs on their campuses in support of refugees. Champions are faculty, staff, and students of universities and systems who are dedicated to dreaming up creative ways for universities to host refugees.

Paul Whitney stands with a group of people of various ages smiling on a college campus as part of the Every Campus a Refuge chapter in the state of Washington.


This RRI Champion has worked to stand up the first ever Every Campus a Refuge chapter in the state of Washington.  Paul’s team at Washington State University – Pullman is currently hosting one refugee family, and given the incredible support of the Pullman community, it plans to welcome a second refugee family soon. “NASH provided the spark that led us to this effort, and the support of the President and Provost allowed our team to make a real difference in a family’s life while bringing the university and the community closer together.”

Lee Nimocks


This RRI Champion at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is helping drive the first ever statewide Humanitarian Assistance Scholarship Program. CPE, in partnership with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, is helping hundreds of displaced students attend Kentucky’s universities and community colleges. NASH is partnering with Kentucky to help launch the new program. “NASH and its national partners are critical to providing technical support as we implement this new scholarship program. The populations we are serving with this scholarship require new levels of outreach, support and advising, and NASH is helping Kentucky meet this challenge.” 

Which programs do we support?


Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR) “Train the Trainers” Program
The NASH RRI is partnering with Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR) to train college and university faculty and administrative staff on how to draw on university and community resources in order to assist a refugee family during its first, transitional months in the United States.NASH members can receive free, certificate-bearing training on how to establish an ECAR chapter on their campuses, and how to effectively advocate for refugee resettlement ecosystems with higher education institutions (HEIs) at their center. Learn more about ECAR’s work.


State-wide Mobilization
We are composing a state advocacy strategy, to comprehensively map the country’s resettlement needs, by tracking the states with the greatest Afghan and Ukrainian populations compared to the capacities of their institutes for higher education to host refugees.

Education to Workforce
We are working to improve the pipeline for refugees to graduate prepared to enter into the U.S. workforce.

Data Compilation
The RRI recognizes that our initiatives can only be scaled successfully when we have data to back up our work. We are compiling data points on the support of refugees on campuses at every step of the process, with the goal of cultivating an encompassing database.

What can NASH member systems and their campuses do to get involved?

  1. Host a refugee student and/or family on multiple campuses, either as a co-sponsor or private sponsor. The “Train the Trainers” program will equip participating systems with the information they need to customize, develop, and sustain welcoming and resettlement programs on their campuses. In addition, NASH is involved in a university-sponsorship implementation coalition being forged to respond to the US government’s new “Priority 4” category of refugee protection, which will allow IHEs and other communities to privately sponsor the resettlement of refugees.
  2. Offer timely support by leveraging on-campus resources including housing, enrollment (e.g., scholarships, tuition waivers), on-ramping (e.g., transfer recognition, credentialing), placement of scholars in graduate programs, and in-house residency for eligible faculty (including housing and employment). State-wide efforts to reduce tuition for immigrants and refugees are being actively explored as models for assisting refugees on a state-by-state basis.
  3. Mobilize to reinforce a refugee welcoming movement in the United States. Based on NASH’s experience partnering with systems to develop an Equity Action Collaborative, there is evidence of systems already leveraging existing resources for such efforts ranging from welcome centers, Dream Centers, College Promise, and other inclusive on-campus offerings.