18.3 C
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeScienceStudy: Engaging in civic leadership empowers refugees and migrants

Study: Engaging in civic leadership empowers refugees and migrants


Christine Shi, a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati. Credit: Christine Shi

Research led by a University of Cincinnati doctoral student shows that immigrants and refugees who participated in the Civic Leadership Program felt more empowered after learning about their civic rights and entitlements and the social, cultural, and political context of Cincinnati.

says Kristin Shi, UCSD doctoral student in psychology and lead author of Nerds. The Transformative Impacts of a Civic Leadership Program Created by and for Refugees and Migrants.

This study published in Journal of Community Psychology On March 18, he examined the experience of participating in a civic leadership program designed by and for refugees and migrants in partnership with local government representative and academic researchers.

The local program was designed by Civic Action for Refugee Empowerment (CARE) Cincinnati, a project led by a team of 12 members of the refugee community, the director of Cincinnati Compass (the initiative to welcome immigrants and refugees to the city) and researchers from the University of California.

The researchers analyzed 30 qualitative interviews conducted with program participants about their experiences and views of the program.

One study participant said, “I didn’t know you could talk and ask for things like street signs and things like that, and now I know these are things you can do.”

The study says that immigrants and refugees are extremely underrepresented in decision-making bodies in the United States, and in most immigrant-receiving countries, immigrants and refugees also face significant obstacles to gaining political voice and power.

Shi says the effects of underrepresentation on marginalized people have long been shown to be detrimental to mental health and increase social and political alienation and “interventions aimed at addressing this underrepresentation must be carefully considered and in collaboration with these communities to avoid further exacerbation of social and political marginalization.” .

The results of the study revealed two main themes. First, when collaborating with the refugee community to design a program—by and for them—participants experienced changes in their awareness of the power, rights, and opportunities that migrants and refugees are entitled to. And second, participants gain valuable skills, knowledge, and connections to access opportunities for civic engagement and strength in Cincinnati.

“This program should not be an exact ‘blueprint’ for empowering civic engagement for migrants and refugees,” Xi says, “but as an example of collaborative action that gives migrants and refugees the power to transform civic engagement to be more inclusive and equitable.”

more information:
Christine Shi et al., Transformative Effects of a Civic Leadership Program Created by and for Refugees and Migrants, Available here. Journal of Community Psychology (2023). doi: 10.1002/jcop.23028

Provided by the University of Cincinnati

the quote: Study: Engaging Civic Leadership Empowers Refugees and Migrants (2023, March 30) Retrieved March 30, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-03-engaging-civic-leadership-empowers-refugees.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories