Video: Becca Heller Keynote, "Refugee Rights at a Crossroads"

October 29, 2019

Video: Becca Heller Keynote, "Refugee Rights at a Crossroads"

Photograph of Hasan Kwame Jeffries and Becca Heller

(Becca Heller’s talk starts at 11:11 minutes; captions available)

On October 17, 2019, Becca Heller, founder and co-director of the International Refugee Assistance Project and MacArthur Genius Award recipient, provided the keynote address for Moving Subjects Week. The keynote, titled “Refugee Rights at a Crossroads,” was given to an overflow audience of Ohio State faculty, students and community partners in the Blackwell Ballroom.

In her talk, Heller discussed her personal experiences and the work IRAP has done to explain how and why refugees and migrants seek safety in third countries, what processes and legal norms are available to them, and how perceptions of “crisis” are being politicized to keep people out. Engaging the dominant narratives about who "refugees" are, the talk provided a vision how to overcome the current political polarization about refugee admissions in the United States and how to confront xenophobia by providing pathways to safety for vulnerable people. 

This event was the keynote address of the Moving Subjects Week organized by the Migration, Mobility, and Immobility Project and funded by the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme.

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