University Organizes Efforts to Bring Attention to Syrian Refugee Crisis

November 10, 2015

University of Scranton faculty, staff and students have organized a series of educational programs, advocacy opportunities and prayer activities to bring attention to the Syrian and broader global refugee crises. A University committee, headed by Anitra McShea, Ph.D., vice provost for student formation and campus life, centralized these efforts, that express Scranton’s Catholic and Jesuit mission in response to the refugee crisis. The committee will explore future initiatives as well.

“The humanitarian needs are urgent and our compassion should abound to help men, women and children who have fled their homes in pursuit of safety. As Pope Francis has said, ‘you are your brother's keeper,’” wrote University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., of the initiative in an editorial published in the Scranton Times-Tribune Nov. 8.

A series of free, public events will take place throughout November that will explore how the University and greater Scranton community can respond to those most affected by the refugee crisis.

Events include “Their First Steps Starts With You:
An Ethiopian Refugee’s Personal Story and Thoughts on the Current Refugee Crisis in the Middle East,” featuring Teferi Dinka an Ethiopian refugee and Fr. Michael Azar, assistant professor of theology/religious studies at the University. The discussion takes place Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater of the DeNaples Center. The event is sponsored by Sophomore Cura Personalis Residential Learning Community.

“A Requiem for Syrian Refugees,” a documentary film by Richard Wolf, will be shown, followed by a panel discussion, Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater of the DeNaples Center.

A talk by award-winning Hungarian author Peter Zilahy, titled “Asylum or Fortress: Where is Europe Heading? A Briefing on the Syrian Refugee Crisis,” will be held Monday, Nov. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. The event is sponsored by the University’s Schemel Forum and the Community and Government Relations Office. Reservations are requested and can be made by emailing

For more information about these events, contact Campus Ministries at 570-941-7419 or visit

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