RWU Announces Spring Semester Events in Year-Long "Quest for Refuge" Series

Film screenings, guest lecturers and special events will provide myriad opportunities for the community to engage in informed dialogue on the current state of refugees around the world

A collage of refugees within the pupil of an eye.
Public Affairs Staff

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– Roger Williams University will continue its year-long “Quest for Refuge” series during the spring semester, examining the political and cultural impact of the global refugee crisis and celebrating stories of survival as staggering numbers of displaced people seek refuge around the world.

“As a private university that serves the public good, Roger Williams is committed to bringing to our students and the outside community topics and speakers of great relevance to the issues that beset our world today,” RWU President Donald J. Farish said. “To date, the speakers and films in our ‘Quest for Refuge’ series have been outstanding, and I’m confident the same will hold true for the spring semester. There is no admission charge to any part of this series.  Please come, listen, learn and discuss the Quest for Refuge.”

Panel discussions, film screenings and guest lecturers will provide opportunities for the community to engage in informed dialogue around the factors that cause people to flee their home countries, how they are persecuted and aided on their journeys, and the ways that society can help displaced people seek refuge and rebuild their lives.

The “Quest for Refuge” series will reflect critically on the current state of refugees around the world and their stories of tragedy and loss as well as courage and resilience. Other events will be added to the schedule as the semester progresses. All events are open to the public unless otherwise noted:

  • Presentation: “Allies and Activists: Martha and Waitstill Sharp and the Legacy of the Unitarian Service Committee, 1939-1951”
    Thursday, January 26 • 4:30 p.m.
    Mary Tefft White Cultural Center — University Library

    RWU Multifaith Chaplain Nancy Hamlin Soukup will present the story of the Unitarian Service Committee’s efforts to rescue and aid victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The legacy of Martha and Waitstill Sharp and work of the USC have inspired and shaped vital response to humanitarian crises, challenging modern forms of genocide and other violations of human rights.
  • Film Screening: “The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of our Nation” 
    Monday, February 27 • 5 p.m.
    Mary Tefft White Cultural Center — University Library

    "The Raising of America" is the first national, fully integrated media/public engagement project that aims to reframe the way Americans look at early child health and development. 
  • An Evening with Amber Chand: “Searching For The Moon: A Heroine's Journey, Tales of Love, Despair, Faith and Forgiveness”
    Thursday, March 2 • 7 p.m. 
    Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences — Room 157

    Amber Chand’s one-woman performance takes audiences on a remarkable journey into a world of Indian-arranged marriages, British boarding schools, tyrannical African dictators, encounters with an Indian holy man and Rwandan genocide survivors, and the rise and fall of her multimillion-dollar company.
  • Global Fest: Travel the World Within RWU
    Wednesday, March 29 • 4 p.m.
    Campus Recreation Center Field House

    As part of the University’s annual celebration of the many cultures and nationalities of our global citizens of RWU, this year’s Intercultural Center Global Fest event will include an installation simulating a refugee camp tent, to give a hands-on opportunity to contemplate the situation in which so many families and individuals find themselves along their quest for refuge journeys.
  • President's Distinguished Speakers Series featuring New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof: "Moral Obligations and National Interest: Refugees in the 21st Century"
    Thursday, April 20 • 7 p.m.
    Campus Recreation Center Gymnasium

    In his multimedia presentation, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof will offer a historical context for the current refugee and immigration controversies, discuss his father’s refugee experience and urge a deeper understanding of all people to reduce the stereotyping of “others.”

For more information and resources related to “The Quest for Refuge” series, please visit