Photo By: Julie Ricard from Unsplash

Brock’s Centre for Canadian Studies is continuing its collaboration with Bridgewater State University and Niagara University to present the second part of their Voices Across the Border speaker series. This time around, the panel will explore the global refugee crisis and how it has impacted Canada and the United States. 

Voices Across the Border is a three-panel event hosted by Brock University’s Centre for Canadian Studies in collaboration with Niagara University and Bridgewater State University. Professors from each of the three universities participate in the panels, where they discuss specific topics pertaining to the two bordering countries.

The second panel in the series is on the topic “Canada, the United States, and the Global Refugee Crisis” and will be held virtually on Wednesday, Nov. 12 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. For entry into the discussion, advanced registration is required, and a Microsoft Teams link will be distributed on the day of the event to all those who registered.

With recent United Nations (UN) data indicating that more than 82 million people are living as refugees, the coalition behind the Voices Across the Border series felt it was critical and timely to focus their second panel on the ongoing crisis. The event aims to examine the scope of the crisis, how the causes and sources of refugees have changed in recent years, and how well the mechanisms put in place by the UN and its member countries since the early 1950s have responded to the global crisis. 

“There has been a refugee crisis for 70 years, at least, if not more and I wanted to try to use that as a kind of a foundation stone to bring in a few scholars from different perspectives,” said Andrew Holman, Director of the Canadian Studies Program at Bridgewater State University. “We want to take a look at the Canadian experience and the country’s policy-making regarding refugees then compare it with the American experience. From there we can further look at the whole global picture right now and where we stand with respect to the causes of refugees and the mechanisms that we have in place for helping to mitigate the ongoing crisis.”

Dr. Janet Mancini Billson, Killam Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts; Dr. Snezana Ratkovic, Professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education; and Dr. Joseph Sankoh, Professor in the Department of Political Science at Daemen College in New York are among the panelists in this discussion.

Through this comparative analysis and discussion, the team behind the speaker series is hopeful that students will become interested in the global refugee crisis and pursue it further – whether that is through continued discussion with the presenters or by picking up a course that teaches more about the crisis. 

“The idea is just to bring people who have got some expertise together to share their knowledge and their perspective in a friendly and insightful way,” said Holman. “Hopefully that exposes some people to a very difficult and complex subject and makes them curious to learn more about the situation and contribute to ongoing debate and solution-planning.”

Attendees are encouraged to come prepared to engage in the discussion and will have the opportunity to direct questions to any of the aforementioned panelists while the event is taking place.  

Those who would like to attend the discussion are encouraged to get their tickets on Eventbrite. Brock students who participate in the event will receive credit towards their Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum.