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Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement WSU Common Reading

Resources for Working with Refuge

Please use the resource information below to help you plan your teaching and lessons. Also, check the Common Reading calendar page for the latest updates on scheduled speakers, film showings, and events that are offered to students outside of classes. Any questions or suggestions should be directed to Karen Weathermon, director of the Common Reading Program, at

  • UNHCR: This United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) site (also known as the United Nations Refugee Agency) includes a wealth of materials, short videos, reports, photographs, links to news stories, etc.
  • Kanopy: This on-demand streaming service/subscription provides WSU with access to thousands of award-winning documentaries and films. Faculty can easily share them, or create clips to embed into Blackboard. Films come with public viewing rights. The Common Reading Program/Karen Weathermon will pull from the wide array of pertinent documentaries to augment the expert lecture series outside of classes.
  • “Everybody Reads” Facebook page (@everybodyreadspnw): Refer to this for more information on novelist Luis Alberto Urrea visit to the Palouse in November (see the Common Reading calendar for Thurs., Nov. 14 (Neill Public Library lecture), and Fri., Nov. 15 WSU Libraries presentation by the author).
  • Photographer and humanitarian Brian Sokol: This U.S.-born conceptual artist, photographer, and author is dedicated to documenting human rights issues and humanitarian crises worldwide. He received National Geographic Magazine’s Eedie Adams Grant, and was selected as one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch. Since 2012, he has focused on telling the stories of refugees, Internally Displayed Persons (IDPs), and stateless people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. His ongling, long-term portraiture project, “The Important Thing,” seeks to humanize and convey the dignity of individuals who have been dehumanized by conflict, government policies, and the media. He goal is to engender empathy and action in audiences across the lines of language, race, religion, and culture.
  • TED Talks “Refugees Welcome” Playlist: A list TED talks on and by refugees. Be sure to check out this one: Alexander Betts TED Talk (2016): “Our refugee system is failing. Here’s how we can fix it.” (18 mins.)
  • USA Hello: Formerly the Refugee Center Online, the USAHello website provides resources and information for U.S. refugees and immigrants on how to build successful lives for themselves and their families in the United States. Resettled refugees and immigrants have collaborated on the content presented on USAHello.
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project: Learn about the direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education that NWIRP provides to defend and advance the rights of immigrants.
  • Innovation Law Lab: This Portland-founded group sources legal representation for immigrants on the southern border.