Refugees in the Heartland was a multiple-day event exploring the experiences of refugees in the Midwest historically and currently and providing information to the public about the definition of a refugee, the process of becoming a refugee and policies and practices informing refugee resettlement. The conference also provided opportunities for refugee leaders, service providers, educators, faith based organizations, and policymakers to convene and develop Midwest based advocacy principles to inform and influence refugee processing and resettlement policy, facilitated by representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Refugee writers and artists also shared their talents and stories to ignite the imagination and create spaces for discussion and reflection. Staff from the UI Center for Human Rights were instrumental in the success of this conference.
The conference was made possible through the generous support of the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization through the Provost’s Global Forum .
Other sponsors included: Advocates for Human Rights, African Studies Programs, Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC), Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa Social Science Research Center, Mission Creek Festival, Pentacrest Museums, Public Policy Center, the University of Iowa, UI Center for Human Rights, UI International Programs, and World Food Prize.