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Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement (SHERR) Consortium



The Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement (SHERR) consortium is excited to announce the launch of four Communities of Practice and Action (CoPAs) which will meet 7 times from February through December 2024 (first meeting in the last week of February). The SHERR Communities of Practice and Action combine the premise of a traditional community of practice and a working group, by providing a space to build community and share expertise, as well as by focusing on specific deliverables. They aim to strengthen engagement in refugee resettlement on the part of higher education institutions, with the larger goal of growing and enhancing the domestic capacity for placement of refugees in communities across the United States. 

The themes of the four Communities of Practice and Action are aligned with engagement pathways identified by SHERR as ways for colleges and universities to support refugee resettlement efforts. Each Community of Practice and Action will be led by an experienced higher education/resettlement practitioner.

  • English Language Learning and Career Pathways Support (Lead Facilitator: Sara Haghighi, Pima Community College)
  •  Housing and Campus Utilization (Lead Facilitator: Dr. Diya Abdo, Every Campus A Refuge)
  •  Developing Refugee Educational Opportunities: Reducing Barriers to Enrollment (Lead Facilitator: Marina Chakmakchi, University of Southern Maine)
  •  Service Learning, Volunteer Engagement, and Staffing (Lead Facilitator: Dr. Carina Black, Northern Nevada International Center & University of Nevada Reno)

Who should join the SHERR Communities of Practice and Action:

  • Representatives of U.S. higher education institutions (including community colleges, technical & vocational schools, and 4-year colleges and universities) who are or want to be involved in programs around the topic area.
  • Representatives of National Resettlement Agencies, local branches or affiliates, and other non-governmental or governmental organizations focused on refugee resettlement, currently collaborating or interested in collaboration with higher education institutions around the specific topic area.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining one of the SHERR Communities of Practice and Action, please complete the interest form linked here. Please note that each CoPA will be capped at 25 participants to ensure maximum group cohesion and collaboration.

Please register for the SHERR Communities of Practice and Action Virtual Launch Event on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 (1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET) to learn about schedules, agendas, and to meet the Facilitation/Coordination teams for each group. 

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), SHERR is a collaboration led by World Learning, in partnership with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and ImmigrationWelcome.US, and the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC). The SHERR program aims to strengthen pathways of engagement for U.S. colleges and universities to participate in refugee resettlement by offering access to a growing network of practitioners, building a suite of resources, tools, and training, and administering innovation incentive grants.

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