For Dr. Ed Allen, a Bible and religious studies scholar and professor at Union College, watching the plight of refugees around the world meant more than just another bad story flashing by on the evening news.
“I was moved by the photos and news reports of refugees, particularly the three year old whose body washed up on the shores of Turkey and the refugees in Hungary,” said Allen. When he discovered the immensity of the worldwide refugee crisis, he starting planning an event to bring awareness to problem.
Tonight, Sept. 24, the Union College Center for Interfaith Studies and Culture will hold a roundtable discussion addressing the refugee crisis and what we here in America can do about it.
The discussion will be led by a panel of experts, including:
- Edward Allen, D.Min.; Ph.D., professor of religion and director of the Union Scholars Honors Program at Union College. Allen will moderate the panel.
- Abla Hasan, Ph.D., assistant professor of the practice of Arabiclanguage and culture at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Hasan will describe the perspective of Syria and its refugees in the nature of the current crisis
- Christopher Banks, M.A., assistant professor of history at Union College. From a global and historical context, Banks will discuss migration.
- Benjamin Holdsworth, Ph.D., associate professor of religion at Union College. Holdsworth will present on the prospects of the future.
- Malcolm Russell, Ph.D., Middle East history and politics scholar, author of The Middle East and South Asia collegiate text book, and vice president for Academic Affairs at Union College
The discussion will conclude with Vernee Norman, a 2015 Union College graduate, presenting suggestions for possible action, “including a list of government officials to write to, a list of trustworthy agencies that are providing assistance, and information on sponsoring a refugee family,” said Allen.
The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Lang Amphitheater at the Krueger Center on the campus of Union College. The Krueger Center is located at the corner of 49th St. and Bancroft Ave.
By Stefani Leeper, student writer