Publication Date: January 22, 2024
Publication Location: Washington, DC
Contact: Abby Henson   |   [email protected]

The Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement (SHERR) program is excited to announce the launch of four Communities of Practice and Action which will meet seven times from February through December 2024.

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.

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)

The following should join SHERR Communities of Practice and Action:

  • Representatives of higher education institutions (including community colleges, technical & vocational schools, and 4-year colleges and universities) that 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 are interested in joining one of the SHERR Communities of Practice and Action, please complete the interest form linked here.

To learn about the scheduled meetings and agendas and to meet the facilitation and coordination teams, register for the SHERR Communities of Practice and Action Virtual Launch Event on Wednesday, January 31 from 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET.

Members of the SHERR coalition are: World Learning, an education, development and exchange nonprofit organization in Washington, DC; the Ethiopian Community Development Council, one of 10 federally recognized resettlement agencies; the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and advocacy organization; and Welcome.US, a national initiative to mobilize Americans to welcome those seeking refuge in the U.S. SHERR is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.