2:02pm

Mon November 25, 2013
Migration and Economic Development

Innovation Conversation: Refugee resettlement in upstate New York

We wrap up our recent week-long look at refugees in upstate New York with an hour-long conversation. You can listen to the program above, recorded during WXXI's 1370 Connection Innovation Friday.

Upstate New York’s cities take in around 90 percent of the 3,500 refugees coming to the state each year.

As refugees become more established they transform neglected neighborhoods, open new businesses and establish services to provide support for the next wave of arrivals. They also face several unique challenges.

While studies put an overall positive spin on the economic impact of refugee arrivals, that doesn’t tell the complete story.

We put together stories around the state:

Refugee community pumping energy into post-industrial Utica

Refugees revitalize Rust Belt city of Buffalo

Rochester seeks refugees to step into gap in health care services

Refugees changing the face of an already diverse Syracuse Northside

Unique challenges for refugees becoming entrepreneurs

We also sat down with several teenage and young refugees now living in Utica, N.Y., a city where nearly a quarter of the population is now refugees and immigrants. Below are some excerpts of that conversation.

Gideon Jackson from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pawsanso Bree of Burma and Muktar Hamed of Yemen discuss living in Utica among such a large refugee population.
Hamed, Bree, Jackson and Hnin Ko, from Burma, talk about maintaining the culture of their home countries while adapting to life in America.

If you want to learn more about refugees in upstate New York, here are some links to frequently asked questions and studies done on the community:

New Zogby study finds Utica a welcoming community

Onondaga Citizens Leage: The World At Our Doorstep

Frequently Asked Questions from the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees

Hamilton College: The Fiscal Impact of Refugee Resettlement in Mohawk Valley