What are the lives of refugees and migrants  like? How  do they experience their situation? How can the larger community connect with them? And how can migrant communities connect and empower themselves? 
Dr. Yehuda Sharim
T hese are some of the questions that  "Houston in Motion: Empowering Houston's Migrant and Refugee Communities"  is working to answer. They are questions that fascinate and energize  Yehuda Sharim  - one of the leaders of the project, who is the Aubrey and Sylvia Farb Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Rice University, a scholar at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, and the keynote speaker at PAIR's upcoming   luncheon.

Dr. Sharim sees this project as an extension of his academic background, spent studying migration and displacement, and of his personal story, as the son of refugees who fled to Israel from Iran.

Sharim  understands the process of "reinventing oneself in a new place."  He wants "Houston in Motion" "to humanize and give a face to the experiences most of us don't know about."

The project combines hard data and stories, multimedia productions and community meetings, surveying, mapping, and technology to document the experiences of Houston's diverse migrant and refugee communities. It involves academics, artists, activists and, importantly, members of the newcomer communities themselves. 

As a result of the project, Sharim hopes, Houstonians will 
think of refugees and migrants as "us" and not "them." 

Data will inform the community and those who work with refugees about the gap between what federal resettlement assistance provides and what is needed for long-term integration. Mapping and technology will connect those in need of services with resources. Telling stories and connecting with each other will strengthen the efforts of refugee and migrant communities to help themselves. Combined, all of the elements of "Houston in Motion" will increase understanding and enrich our appreciation for our diverse city.
Learn more about this fascinating project!
Dr. Sharim will speak at PAIR's 3rd annual Youth Empowerment Luncheon ,   May 6th at The Junior League of Houston. Just over two weeks remain to make your reservation.
Proceeds from this event are essential to support PAIR's  mentoring and educational programs, which welcome and integrate up to 400 refugee youth into greater Houston each year. If you cannot attend, please contribute to PAIR's annual fund supporting the vital work  of preparing young refugees for lives of self-sufficiency and belonging.
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