Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2019

Capstone Advisor

Anne Mosher

Honors Reader

Peter Wilcoxen

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Civic and Community Engagement | Migration Studies


This project is an international comparative study of migration patterns and integration models, spanning global case studies of refugee and migrant communities in Latin America, the United States, and the Middle East through personal research and experience. Using participant observation and interviews, I observed and worked with three different nonprofit ecosystems in Syracuse, NY; Santiago, Chile; and Tyre, Lebanon. This paper situates all three cities in the context of our globalizing world, where global conflicts or economic conditions that affect one country have an extremely crucial impact on other countries surrounding it and beyond. I observed three host countries that, due to relative stability, have become major destinations for migrants and refugees. In each case study, and at the time I was there, I also witnessed several state/ national policies adopted that restricted movement or access to services for vulnerable communities. Each nonprofit had the same goal of utilizing English learning as a method of self-empowerment and social mobility; however, the centers all engaged in services, beyond language acquisition, that worked to understand the full needs of new communities. Through studying the civil society organizations that I worked with in each case study, I concluded that nonprofit and non-governmental spaces provided a unique, flexible, and effective outlet to push against constrictive policies by the state and pave a path to stability and inclusion of new communities. Each case study offers a different outlook into the relationship between civil society and the state, but all have one common theme regarding the meaning and impact of nonprofit spaces to the people they serve. I conclude that nonprofits serve as a conduit for change, community-building, and comprehensive models of social inclusion that, regardless of capacity, remain crucial to migrant and refugee communities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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