Though the plights of refugees might seem a world away, one group of Ohio State students is trying to bring some of those issues closer to home.
The student organization No Lost Generation at Ohio State University is set to host a panel Thursday evening to discuss global refugee issues and their impact on the Columbus area.
The panel is set to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Saxbe Auditorium at the Moritz College of Law and will feature four panelists: Daniel Silverman, a doctoral candidate in comparative politics and international relations; Jeremy Hollon, community connectors coordinator at local refugee agency Community Refugee and Immigration Services; Tara Dhungana, a refugee from Nepal and employment counselor for CRIS; and Fatima Abukar, a refugee from Iraq and a second-year in chemical engineering.
Emily Hornish, the organizer of the event and a first-year in political science and Arabic, said the event initially was just a representative from CRIS coming to speak to the club on refugee resettlement in Columbus. But as Hornish found more speakers, she expanded on the idea to create a public event to cater to more people.
“I’m hoping that, through this event, people who normally don’t really know about the subject and maybe don’t really care very much will come,” Hornish said. “I’m hoping that we’ll just be able to educate people and get more people involved.”
Silverman, who specializes in Middle Eastern politics, said he’s excited to speak at the panel and that he will be focusing heavily on the historical context of the current crisis of refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
“You feel good about being able to use some of the (research) you’re doing, not just for the academic writing, but also to do events like these,” Silverman said.
Hornish is a student in Silverman’s American foreign policy class and said that when she was forming the panel, she immediately thought of him.
“When I came up with this idea, I thought that he would be a great person to participate because he specializes in the Middle East, and I thought it would be beneficial to have someone there to discuss what exactly is causing the crisis,” Hornish said.
No Lost Generation was founded in 2015 at George Washington University and now has chapters at 55 universities worldwide, according to its website. The refugee panel is not the first event for the OSU chapter, which was founded this year, but is set to be one of its biggest academic events, Hornish said.
“I am just hoping that people will come and that they will learn something that they did not previously,” Hornish said.
Hornish said she also wants attendees to take away a desire to get involved in supporting refugees.
“I’m also hoping that the people who attend will leave with a desire to help and make an impact,” Hornish said. “It’s a very large issue, but in Columbus itself there are things that the everyday person can do to help out.”