Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Refugees & Immigration

Migration is deeply intertwined with every era of United States’ history. In light of the threat that immigrants face under the new administration and the continued refugee crisis around the world, now is a critical time to examine what we can do to alleviate the effects of new policies and ensure that people feel safe and welcomed in this country. Swarthmore declared itself a sanctuary campus in 2016, but there is still much work to be done. Through collective efforts, we can tackle the different facets of migration that make it challenging, and often impossible, for immigrants and refugees to adapt to their new lives.

Engaged Scholarship Examples  

  • "Educational Studies Project Explores Undocumented and DACA Student Experience," by Ryan Dougherty (2018) 
    • The research seminar Latinos and Education (EDUC 153), taught by Education Studies Professor Elaine Allard, produced a short film titled Sanctuary in Practice about the experience of undocumented and DACA students and allies in the Swarthmore community. The film, which is based on interviews and original research, was shown at the Search of Sanctuary symposium in May 2018.
  • Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary (2017-2019) 
    • The Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary project combines works of art and the experiences of Syrian and Iraqi individuals who have resettled in Philadelphia.
  • Olivia Robbins '21 and Immigration Law Lab Internship 
    • Olivia Robbins ‘21 was a virtual communications intern for the nonprofit Innovation Law Lab during the summer of 2020. She was motivated to learn more about immigration activism after taking Civil Wars and Neoliberal Peace (PEAC 038) with Spanish Professor Nanci Buiza and conducting research about conditions in detention facilities on the US-Mexico border for the class. Her work this past summer included sharing important information about COVID-19 and immigration on social media, writing about funds for undocumented workers, and hearing stories about abuses in detention facilities.


Key Faculty and Staff

Student Groups and Resources 


Swarthmore Courses 

  • SOCI 035D Transnational Migration 
  • EDUC 072 Humanitarianism: Education & Conflict 
  • DANC 025A Dance and Diaspora
  • ENGL 009D First-Year Seminar: Nation and Migration
  • ENGL 050D Literature and Art on the US-Mexico Border
  • ENGL 089E Ecofeminism(s)
  • EDUC 053 Educating Emergent Bilinguals
  • EDUC 062 Sociology of Education
  • POLS 031 Borders and Migration
  • SPAN 015 First Year Seminar: Introduction to Latinx Literature and Culture
  • SPAN 050 Afrocaribe: literatura y cultura visual
  • SPAN 061 El “otro”: voces y miradas múltiples
  • PEAC 038 01 Civil Wars & Neoliberal Peace in Central America
  • PEAC 055 Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking    
  • POLS 031 Borders and Migration
  • POLS 062 The Politics and Practice of Humanitarianism 

TriCo Courses 

Haverford Fall 2019 

Bryn Mawr Fall 2019 

Other TriCo Programs


Off-Campus Opportunities


  • Lang Opportunity Scholarship
  • Davis Projects for Peace
  • Project Pericles Grant
  • Summer Experience Funding