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Forced Migration Studies Program

Community Partnerships

Volunteer Opportunities at Mary’s Place

  • Tuesdays from 5:15PM to 8:15PM AND Saturdays 10:30AM to 2:30 PM
  • Transportation provided by Glynis Jones, Coordinator of Partners for Serving
  • Contact:

Mary's Place Internship Opportunities

  • Students pursuing degrees in Social Work, Education, Anthropology, Sociology, Public Health and other disciplines available.
  • Contact: Cara Breslin, AmericaCorps VISTA,

Volunteer Opportunities at Saint’s Place

  • Through the Center for Civic Engagement
  • Support refugees who have resettled in Rochester, NY
  • Contact:   Sofiya(
  •  Provide English-language enrichment for adults & children.
  • Separate and sort donations in the Saint's Place main location.
  • Work in the Clothing Closet

Volunteer Opportunities at Somali Community Center of Western N.Y.

  • Offer your services and material donations
  • WEP programs beginning October 29th, weekdays 9am-4:30pm
  • Help obtain readiness skills materials: Sewing machines and sewing supplies, gas stove, utensils (used or new), and cooking supplies (e.g. flour), computers, computer accessories, long computer tables (new or used)
  • Provide English language and job readiness training: Sewing, Cooking, Basic healthcare & computer skills 
  • Contact: Ms. Sadiya Omar, SCWNY Vice President 585-576-7329

The Forced Migration Studies Program works to increase curricular and co-curricular engagement with refugee outreach efforts and other displaced populations by assisting in facilitating opportunities for resource sharing between Nazareth College and the local and global refugee community.

Forced Migration Program seeks to:

  • Increase engagement with and advocacy for refugee communities through experiential learning;
  • Establish interdisciplinary courses that include topics associated with forced migration;
  • Increase faculty and student research on population displacement, forced migration and resettlement;
  • Develop research and education on and off campus that centers on and empowers the voices of displaced persons.

The Rochester Refugee Community

  • The 1951 Refugee Convention defined a refugee as someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country".
  • Rochester, New York receives approximately 1 percent of the refugees that arrive in the United States each year. The primary resettlement agency in Rochester, NY is Catholic Family Center of Rochester (
  • Rochester Refugee Resettlement Resources

UNHCR Global Trends 2011

(2012 Fiscal Year)

Refugee Admissions Projected for Rochester: 767 

pie chart-2

Federal Fiscal Year 2010-2013: Refugee Resettlement in Rochester, NY 

NYS Refugee Resettlement

Federal fiscal year (2012-2013) numbers above are through July 2013 (452).  155 refugees were resettled in Aug/Sept for an estimated total of 607 for the 2012-13 fiscal year.  

Note that the above totals do not include the Cuban entrants which typically add another 50 resettlement clients each year.


Nazareth Partners

  • Communication Sciences & Disorders: Graduate and undergraduate students fulfill practicum hours by providing language services to refugee students at Marys Place Outreach Center.
  • Creative Art Therapy: Graduate students in Art Therapy apply clinical knowledge and inter-professional skills while working collaboratively with CSD graduate and underrate students at the Wednesday After School Program at Mary's Place Outreach Center.
  • School of Management: Course curriculums are infused with service-learning projects, giving students the opportunity to be immersed in real-world education and experiences.
  • International TESOL: Students create curricula and facilitate structured coffee chats with learners of ESOL at Nazareth College.
  • Partners for Serving: Students serve at Marys Place through a work study program.
  • Social Work: BSW students now have the opportunity to intern at Westside Health Services

Partnerships and Refugee Resettlement

  • Saint's Place - Provides household goods, clothing and tutoring to refugee families. * Saints Place
  • Mary's Place Outreach Center - Provides tutoring, case management, counseling and health-outreach opportunities as well as distribution of donations.
  • Catholic Family Centers - Provides a broad spectrum of services to newly-arrived refugees including appropriate services, resources, training and other support.
  • Westside Health Services - Provides affordable health care as well as interpreting services.
  • Rochester General Hospital - Provides health care services and interpreting services.
  • Jefferson High School Interact Club - Provides leadership growth and service opportunities at Jefferson High School. Sponsored by Rotary International.
  • Anthony L. Jordan / Brown Square Health Center Services include: adult and pediatric primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, and adult and pediatric dentistry, with an on-site pharmacy to fill prescriptions. Full-time translators speak Burmese, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. Translation services can be arranged upon request for many other languages.
  • Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES) Offers adult training in a wide range of programs at multiple locations in the greater Rochester area. Most programs are free to community members and schedules are flexible.
  • Rochester Refugee Women's Network Brings together women from the global refugee community in Rochester, New York for the purpose of education and empowerment. The Network includes health care professionals, representatives from the resettlement agency, a county legislator, college and graduate school students and interns, and many supportive volunteers.
  • Refugee Employment Services/Employment Connection of RRC (Rochester Rehabilitation Center) Assists individuals with services ranging from case management, employment, Department of Social Services and citizenship paperwork.

How To Get Involved

Faculty: If faculty are interested in forced migration studies or refugee studies, they are encouraged to consider teaching a service learning or incorporating a civic engagement or community service component into one of their courses. Community-based research is also an opportunity for faculty and students to engage in meaningful scholarship relating to areas of forced migration.

Students: Through off-campus internships, research opportunities, service learning courses and the Refugee Student Alliance, students have a variety of ways to become engaged with refugee communities, outreach service as well as advocacy.

Links to News & Scholarly Resources

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