"Everyone Take One": The Afghanistan Project at NJCU

September 27, 2021
Refugees and immigrants looking for a new life expectancy. Afghanistan map - stock photo GettyImages-1343302483
NJCU has a long history of supporting refugees, and students and scholars in crisis in their home countries. 
In 2015, the institution hosted a scholar from Syria through the Institute for International Education's (IIE) Scholar Rescue Fund. The scholar came to NJCU with his family and has since successfully earned asylum and is living safely and productively in the United States after three years of service to the NJCU community as an instructor in the Computer Science Department.   

This fall, NJCU is hosting a Brazilian artist threatened in her home city of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, thanks to the financial support of the Artist Protection Fund (IIE). The Artist has been invited to be part of the Department of Music, Dance and Theatre (MDT), and will spend one year performing with the MDT ensembles, offering community performances, and learning English through the Global Initiatives American English and Culture Program. 

It is with this same spirit of fulfilling our global duty that NJCU joins with IIE's initiative "Everyone Take One" — The Afghanistan Project at NJCU. The Project’s philosophy asks individuals and institutions to translate human compassion into action for the benefit of the international community. As we turn our attention to Afghanistan and the more than 58,000 people who have fled to America (with another 30,000 expected), and many more who are still in a state of uncertainty (either still in Afghanistan or stranded in developing countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, etc.), NJCU is committed to assisting these refugees in the following ways: 
  • NJCU will welcome new Afghan students in Spring 2022 and provide tuition and housing scholarships. 
  • The IDEAS State Department grant, which the Sociology department received to expand the diversity of student study abroad programs through the Office of Global Initiatives, provides two opportunities to tie into this project. The study abroad opportunity will be a class during Summer I in Athens, Greece in the refugee communities there, and the students will witness the conditions of Afghan refugees in transitional, and sometimes precarious spaces. Prior to travel, students will work with faculty to organize a remote international seminar in February 22 on social work with refugees. Given the current circumstances, a significant portion of the conference will be devoted to social work specifically with Afghans in a multinational context.  
  • NJCU will apply to host an Afghan scholar through the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund
  • NJCU will partner with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to offer free English Language classes to Afghan refugees. 
  • NJCU will join the President's Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration to push Congress to pass the WELCOMED ACT of 2021 (Welcoming Evacuees Coming from Overseas to Mitigate Effects of Displacement).
  • NJCU will provide guidance to students and employees with humanitarian parole status (the majority of those admitted) to the appropriate immigration lawyers who can help them gain political asylum or other permanent status.  
We welcome your thoughts on how the University can add to these initiatives to support Afghans and other refugees in need. Please contact Tamara Cunningham, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, at tcunningham@njcu.edu for more information.  
Tagged as: