Cultural Connections: A Lesson From Sicily on Responding to Refugees

Wednesday, Nov 9, 2022
From 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Contact: AARP Virginia

This event is full.

Come learn about how the city of Siracusa, Italy, reacted to an influx of refugess in the early 2010s.

Join AARP Virginia and attendees from across the U.S. for a FREE virtual event on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. ET | 12:30 p.m. CT | 11:30 a.m. MT | 10:30 a.m. PT - AARP membership not required.

In the wake of the Arab Spring in the early 2010s, more than 45,000 people risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean in search of refuge in Europe. This presentation with the Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech examines the reactions of citizens in Siracusa, Sicily, to the influx, comparing these views to the opinions expressed by residents of Southwest Virginia in discussions of local refugee resettlement projects. 

The presentation emphasizes the role and impact of community support groups, useful information for any community wrestling with how best to support uprooted newcomers. It concludes with a discussion of how Virginia Tech’s new Center for Refugee, Migrant and Displacement Studies supports efforts both in Siracusa and in Southwest Virginia, a potential model for other states.

Rebecca Hester will be giving this lecture. She is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech and co-founder of the Center for Refugee, Migrant and Displacement Studies.

This event is FREE, but registration is REQUIRED. Please do not opt out of event-related emails, as you will be emailed a link to join the lecture via Zoom prior to the event. If you register but are unable to attend, you will have access to a recording that you can watch at a later time.

For more information, contact AARP Virginia at

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