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Immigrant and Refugee Research Institute (IRRI)

IRRI strives to achieve an equal sharing of knowledge and skills between the academic community and newcomer communities. The mutual learning opportunities will ground and enrich research and ensure that scholarship is beneficial to the community.  

Understanding the Needs of Syrian Refugees (9 min)

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This video features UB School of Social Work PhD student and IRRI affiliate, Asli Yalim. She provides a brief overview of the Syrian refugees and refugee crisis.

UN Ambassador Powers Speaks at UB (1:45 min)

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Watch UB's latest video, "Helping refugees in Buffalo and beyond - US Ambassador visits UB," featuring IRRI co-director Wooksoo Kim

These UB School of Social Work inSocialWork podcasts feature content about refugees and immigrants.

"The Continuing Relevance of Immigration History"

Dr. David Gerber

In this episode, Dr. David Gerber applies a lens of immigration history in the United States and helps us understand the reticence to reform our immigration policy and laws. He highlights how the popular narrative we have about immigrants and refugees stands in sharp contrast to what is really happening in our society.


 “Social Justice and the Immigrant Experience, 1”

 Drs. Deb Ortega, Ashley Hanna, & Badiah Haffejee

In this first of two episodes, utilizing human rights and social justice as context, they observe that the development and changes in U.S. policy have historically addressed mostly the needs of the dominant culture.


 “Social Justice and the Immigrant Experience, 2”

Drs. Deb Ortega,  Ashley Hanna, & Badiah Haffejee

In the second of a two podcasts, they explore common myths that characterize our popular and policy discussions about immigrants and describe how these policies affect lives in our communities.


“Understanding Contemporary Migration in Social Work”

Arati Maleku

Arati Maleku discusses current trends in human migration, explains some of migration's challenges and opportunities, and offers suggestions on social work practice with migrant populations.


“Discourse and Politics of Displaced Youth”

Aster Tecle

In her research, Aster Tecle  examines the complexities of identity formation among Horn of Africa immigrant youth and how those youth create place and space in a larger sociocultural structure that often labels difference as "misfitness."


“Refugee Trauma and Community Capacity Building Strategy”

Dr. Patricia Shannon

Dr. Patricia Shannon discusses findings from her recent focus groups on the mental health of refugees, efforts to develop community capacity for meeting the mental health needs of refugees, and how community based healing can be utilized as a strategy to address the larger context of international human rights.


“Elderly Korean Immigrants and Drinking Behavior”

Dr. Wooksoo Kim

In this episode, Dr. Wooksoo Kim discusses her research findings on alcohol use among elderly Korean immigrants in Toronto, Canada. She found that they did not drastically change their beliefs about drinking, but modified their alcohol use within the socio-cultural context they are currently living in.