“Stateless!” seeks to help Mercer students understand the refugee crisis

“Stateless!” seeks to help Mercer students understand the refugee crisis

Sarah Pounds, News Editor

The footage has played on the news for months.

Men, women and children — refugees — fleeing their homelands.

The current focus is on those escaping the conflict in Syria, but the Mercer International Affairs Organization (MIAO) wants to bring light to the issue’s breadth with an event Nov. 16.

“This is becoming such a nationally-seen issue,” said Emily Anspach, one of the event’s coordinators. “The purpose [of Stateless!] is basically to inform students that, you know, it isn’t just Syria. The problem extends past just one or two nations.”

Stateless! will be an event focused on putting faces to the stories of refugees from all around the world. Student volunteers will be given a refugee’s profile, and they will tell the story of that person for the night.

The name of the event is designed to raise questions, according to Anspach, because it’s not a word most people encounter every day. She said that for refugees, the word “stateless” carries a lot of different meanings and brings up just as many questions.

  • Do refugees identify with the state they’re leaving?
  • What responsibility does a state assume when they offer refuge?
  • If a baby is born to refugees in another state, how is that baby identified?

The name, Anspach said, “brings in the questions that we are going to try to answer with our event.”

The stories for the night are being taken from the UN Refugee Agency website, which publishes individual accounts of the crisis.

The event will be Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. in Stetson room 251. If you have any questions, you can contact Emily Anspach at [email protected] or Alayna Williams at [email protected]