October 16, 2015
The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the Yale World Fellows program put on its annual Jackson Forum on Friday, Oct. 16.
The forum included workshops, panel discussions and student insight talks styled after “Ted talks.” The student-led event drew together Yale World Fellows, Jackson students, faculty, staff and Senior Fellows, and friends of the institute.
A highlight of the day was a live-streamed panel discussion on the refugee crisis featuring World Fellows program director and Jackson Senior Fellow Emma Sky, along with panelists Mina Al-Oraibi, Stephen Shashoua, Rahul Pandita, Njoya Tikum, all 2015 Yale World Fellows. The live-streamed video was made possible by longtime Yale World Fellows program supporter, Santander Universities. Students from more than 30 institutions around the globe tuned in for this timely discussion on the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe and elsewhere.
Al-Oraibi, an Iraqi-Briton journalist, told the crowd about her own experience as a refugee and called for increased empathy and kindness toward refugees. “There is a broken system for how to seek asylum,” she explained.
Pandita, who was forcefully displaced from his homeland in India as a teen, talked about losing a sense of home and identity. “You become obsessed with the idea of home,” he said. “You compare present life to the life you left behind.”
Shashoua suggested ways to improve integration of refugees into host countries, saying the rhetoric of government around integration must change.
Tikum offered a candid perspective on the difference between how various groups of refugees are valued by their host countries.
“Countries make an economic calculation when taking in refugees from different countries,” he said. “We need leaders to change the narrative and use data to show the positive economic impact of refugees to host countries.”