The Importance of Humanizing Refugees

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power explains how she works to make difficult problems seem easier to solve.

Transcript (Text)

It's always really important to, when you talk about refugees or any population that is vulnerable or that is struggling, to put a human face on the population. When you hear "refugees," sometimes—you guys are very nuanced and you've been exposed to it in your class, and clearly you've talked about it amongst yourselves—but some people just hear "refugees," and it just feels like a big problem. It's just too scary. It's too big. There are too many.

And trying to convince people that there are small things you can do, even if you can't solve the whole problem tomorrow, that there's still a way to help a new refugee out who's just come to New York City. And so figuring out how you can partner with people who've just arrived and lend them a helping hand, even if it's just to help them with their English or their math.

I think there are really small things one can do, but part of what my job is to do is to make a huge problem seem a little more manageable, that there are small steps you can take, and if everybody was taking more small steps we'd make a greater dent in the big problem.

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