Social Integration in Berlin
Working with Questscope’s teams from Amman, Jordan and a network of Syrian refugees, I am leading a design process for solutions for social integration among “newcomers” in Berlin. In my role I manage outreach and networking to civil society partners and the Syrian refugee community, and offer capacity building sessions in technical areas including mental health and psychosocial support, program design and monitoring, and impact measurement.
Neuroscience and Dangerous Speech
In partnership with Rachel Brown and Over Zero, I have developed some curricular materials that translate the neural and biological foundations of “us versus them” thinking and ideological polarization. The materials are targeted for policymakers, community organizers, and organizations to guide their understanding of social identity, group formation, and polarization, as well as to assist them as they design messaging or intergroup campaigns in their communities and organizations.
Recently featured on VICE Impact, #MeWeSyria is a digital media and storytelling education program housed in Ashoka’s Youth Venture. #MeWeSyria centers on a training platform for young refugees that uses the science and practice of storytelling and digital media to cultivate communities of youth for social action, and to confront chronic stress and traumatic memories that accompany life in and around a conflict zone. As a technical consultant for #MeWeSyria, I worked with its founder to author curriculum lessons on neuroscience, stress and trauma, and storytelling to open creative pathways for accompanied introspection and healing for refugee youth ages 10-20.
In collaboration with university partners in the Boston area, we are working to design psychological and cognitive measures to assess the impact of storytelling on self-awareness, emotion regulation
MeWeSyria is delivered in a cascaded training of trainers model, where Syrian/refugee “replicators” over the age of 20 receive initial and ongoing trainings that enable them to replicate and adapt the curriculum in their local communities with younger youth. Each MeWeSyria site then becomes a “storytelling hub” where youth in the hub are connected to subsequent opportunities for psychosocial support and care, digital media production opportunities, and social change projects in their community.
Currently, MeWeSyria has trained over 50 community replicators and has worked with over 500 young refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. For inquiries about the MeWeSyria curriculum, including the translational exercises for youth on neuroscience and stress, please contact me.