We are developing oral history-based secondary school curriculum to showcase the experiences of resettled refugees in the US. This curriculum can be adapted to include information about refugees and the US refugee resettlement system, stories about refugees’ religious, ethnic, and cultural identities, and many more themes common across the oral histories we have conducted with ~150 refugees over the past two years. This curriculum could be used by secondary schools, places of worship, non-profits, senior centers, and other audiences who would like to better understand the experiences of resettled refugees in the US. Because refugee narrators from across the US have participated in this project, we can create localized versions that feature different narrators depending on the theme and location of the school using the curriculum. We would pair these oral history excerpts with curated readings, podcasts, and/or documentaries to provide historical context. Depending on the needs of the educators we partner with, we could create curriculum for one session or several.

A major component of the Religion & Resettlement Project is our oral history project, a growing archive of oral histories from resettled refugees in the United States whose religious and spiritual lives have been consequential in their journey, resettlement, and integration. Since 2018, we have trained over 70 undergraduate students in oral history methods and have conducted and transcribed over 150 oral histories with resettled refugees in the US from a wide range of religious and ethnic communities.

For our pilot, we are preparing a 90-minute curriculum that educators can use alongside interfaith prayer services on World Refugee Day, June 20, 2021, to extend the intention to welcome refugees with information about them. Among others, sites include Cleveland, West Palm Beach, and Washington, DC. This curriculum will include three parts: an explanation of who refugees are and how they arrive in the US, first-person excerpts from our oral history project about refugees’ religious identities, and an overview of religious communities’ critical involvement in US refugee resettlement.

We are working with the Cristo Rey and Jesuit School Networks to develop fall lesson plans drawing from our archive for classes pertaining to theology, world religion, race, history, and literature.

Please contact Katherine Clifton with questions (