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Virtual Book Launch: “A Better Future”

October 2, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Join us on Friday, October 2 at 9:30 a.m. EDT (3:30 p.m. SAST) for the launch of “A Better Future,” a new book assembled by global scholars and policy makers who draw attention to the role of higher education for displaced and marginalized people. Registration is required. Please click here to RSVP and receive your link to watch on Zoom.

Event Description

“A Better Future” performs an invaluable service for those interested in understanding and fighting a significant violation of educational opportunity and social justice. Our discussion with the book’s editors will focus on the following highlights from the book:

  • Impacts of educational disadvantage, normally reserved for primary and secondary education
  • Different theoretical and analytical perspectives that offer a survey of a complex and diverse field
  • Critical perspectives to the challenge of enabling access to higher education for stigmatized citizen groups, refugees and migrants


Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

Jacqueline Bhabha is Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Massachusetts. She is also Director of Research at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School, and an adjunct lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Professor Wenona Giles, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

Wenona Giles is Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar in the Anthropology Department and Resident Research Associate of the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Faraaz Mahomed, Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Wits University

Faraaz Mahomed is a clinical psychologist and research associate at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. He is also a Research Associate at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Chapter Contributors

Dr. Tanya Aberman, York University 

Tanya Aberman is a community-based researcher and educator, who recently completed her PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University. Her research has focused on migration issues from feminist, intersectional, critical migration and border studies perspectives. She is the coordinator for the access program for students with precarious immigration status at York University. She is also a co-founder of a non-profit to support sanctuary students and advocate for increased access to education.

Professor Maurice Crul, Vrije Universiteit 

Maurice Crul is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He is a specialist on school and labour market careers of children of immigrants and refugees in Europe and the United States. He has coordinated the TIES project, which was the first European comparative study on the second generation in Europe. He has further coordinated two European Research Council (ERC) grant projects. The first looked at the upcoming elite among the second generation (ELITESproject.eu) and the second, an ERCadvanced grant project, Becoming a Minority (BaM), looks at the new minority in super-diverse cities: the people of native descent (BaMproject.eu). He has written extensively about issues of diversity and inclusion. Some of his books include: “The New Face of World Cities” (Russell Sage Foundation Publishers), “Coming to Terms with Superdiversity: The Case of Rotterdam” (Springer) and “Superdiversity: A New Vision on Integration” (Free University Press).

Richard Kazis, MDRC 

In addition to being a senior consultant to MDRC, Richard Kazis is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Brookings Metropolitan Policy program and consults regularly with national organizations and foundations on postsecondary education and workforce development. Recent partners include: the Aspen College Excellence Program, the Aspen Economic Opportunities Program, the Boston Foundation, the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, and the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas-Austin. Kazis serves as Board Chair of The Institute for College Access and Success. He was previously Senior Vice President of Jobs for the Future in Boston. Richard has written extensively on low-income community college students’ performance and outcomes, youth employment and training, low-wage worker advancement, and labor market intermediaries in workforce development. Recent publications include: “Reimagining Experiential Learning and Internships for Community College Students” in “Teaching Students About the World of Work” (Harvard Education Press); and “Balancing Bold State Policy with Regional Flexibility: Pathways Tennessee” in “Career Pathways in Action: Case Studies from the Field” (Harvard Education Press). A graduate of Harvard College and MIT, early in his career Kazis taught at an alternative high school, helped organize fast-food workers, worked with labor-environmental jobs coalitions, and supervised a Neighborhood Youth Corps program.

Dr. Lisa Unangst, Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG)

Lisa is a postdoctoral researcher at Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG). Her research interests include higher education access and experience among displaced learners, as well as comparative and cross-national constructions of “diversity” in higher education. She is an associate editor of Higher Education Research and Development, and editorial board member of the Journal of International Students and Higher Education Governance and Policy.

Dr. Paloma E. Villegas, California State University San Bernardino

Paloma is an assistant professor in the department of Sociology at California State University San Bernardino. Her research examines migrant illegalization in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada and its intersections with borders, race, gender and class. Her book “North of El Norte” was published in 2020 by UBC Press. She is also an interdisciplinary artist.

Dr. Tahir Zaman, Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex

Tahir is a lecturer in human geography and the deputy director of the Sussex Centre for Migration Research at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex. He is primarily interested in matters pertaining to refugee agency and alternative socio-cultural understandings of refuge during times of mass-displacement. His monograph published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016 under the title of “Islamic traditions of refuge in the crises of Iraq and Syria” explores the social and cultural life-worlds of Iraqi refugees in Damascus at a time when Syria was on the cusp of a popular uprising. He has since explored the encounter between displaced Syrians and those already resident in Europe – interrogating Eurocentric understandings of humanitarianism and solidarity. Tahir also helped co-edit narrative testimonies of residents of the so-called “jungle” in Calais in “Voices from the Jungle: Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp” published by Pluto Press. Tahir is currently working on protracted displacement economies.

About “A Better Future”

Policy makers, advocates and scholars have long concentrated on the importance of equal access to primary and secondary education as a foundation for a democratic and just society. Despite the growing importance of higher and specialist education in an increasingly technological and skill-focused global market, tertiary education has attracted much less attention. And yet, universities and colleges are epicenters of egregious disparities in access, which impinge on traditionally marginalized communities, such as racial minorities, migrants, indigenous populations and people with disabilities.

Assembled with first-rate material from scholars and policy makers around the world, “A Better Future” draws attention to the role of higher education for displaced and marginalized people. Event attendees may purchase “A Better Future,” published by Cambridge University Press, by clicking here. Enter code ABF2020 at checkout to receive a 20% discount.

Sponsoring Institutions

FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Wits University



October 2, 2020
9:30 am - 10:30 am
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