According to the UNHCR, there are now more than 65 million forcibly displaced persons in the world. In sheer numbers, this is the largest displacement of people since the Second World War. It is a generational phenomenon that is global in its impact and local in its effect. Along with Climate Change, this forced movement of people is going to define generations and the structure of the world we live in. The Vassar Refugee Solidarity initiative was inspired by and started in response to this realization.
Governments, NGOs, religious relief agencies, and tech innovators across the globe are scrambling to respond. Existing models for humanitarian aid, developed in the wake of WWII, are based on the hierarchical vision of that time, focusing on the immediate needs of displaced persons: safety, shelter, healthcare and sustenance. In order to engage appropriately, these models need to be radically rethought. As members of an institution of higher learning, we are committed to innovating new, horizontal models of global and transnational educational solidarity and to motivate our community to be engaged actors in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.