Tuesday, September 01, 2015

UTSA social work students host refugee public awareness event Dec. 7

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(Nov. 26, 2012) -- Graduate students in the UTSA Department of Social Work will host "In a Place of Refuge: Many Stories, One Goal," a refugee awareness event, at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.326) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will provide an opportunity for the San Antonio community to learn first-hand the stories of refugees who fled their homes seeking safety for themselves and their families, and to hear more about their everyday lives in San Antonio. Attendees will hear stories of refugees' personal struggles with apartheid, violence and oppression and, most importantly, their stories of courage in the face of adversity and the challenges they faced and still face as they acclimate to American life.

The stories of refugees who settled in San Antonio are as unique and intriguing as each individual. The event will dispel the myths… and let you hear the voices. Their accounts of violence, oppression and danger will astonish you, but no more than their depictions of resiliency and survival.

According to the Center for Refugee Services, nearly 1,000 refugees call San Antonio their new home every year. Refugees who live within San Antonio's city limits, however, are not strictly from countries publicized in conflicts such as in the Middle East.

Margaret Constantino, director of the Center for Refugee Services, says that over the past few years, refugees have come to San Antonio from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Liberia, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

Many of the refugees are hard-working, contributing members of society, but xenophobia and common misconceptions about their arrival in America and their use of resources in the Alamo City contribute to widespread unfamiliarity with their roles in our community. This lack of knowledge clashes with the newly acquired goals of our growing city. In fact, one goal of the SA2020 initiative is to "fight sexism, racism, elitism and homophobia everywhere and at all times" to promote the wellbeing of San Antonio families. This type of oppression, which San Antonio aims to eradicate, is just one of the many categories of persecution refugees fled their home countries to avoid.

>> Seating is limited and reservations, while not required, are encouraged. Reserve a seat by emailing inaplaceofrefuge@gmail.com.

>> Learn more about San Antonio refugee advocacy organizations and services, at the Center for Refugee Services website, at 210-949-0062 or on Facebook.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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