A presentation by Patti Tamara Lenard (University of Ottawa) and Stéfanie Morris (University of Ottawa)
Summary: "In this talk, we will outline the objectives and early findings of a project that we are conducting in Ottawa. This case-study examines the motivations, choices, and decision-making strategies made by members of St. Joseph’s Parish’s Refugee Outreach Committee (ROC). The ROC has been in operation for 30 years, and in that time has sponsored, settled and advocated for refugees and asylum seekers. We will report on the results of our archival research as well as on the interviews we have so far conducted, to offer preliminary answers to the questions that frame our research: 1) Why do private citizens choose to dedicate their time to supporting, emotionally and financially, refugees in Canada? What motivates them to do this work, both in times of supposed refugees ‘crises’ and, especially, over time? Is a worry about global injustice a part of their motivation to work with refugees in a local space? 2) Among those who do this work, what prompts them to abandon it? What supports might be offered to them, in order to encourage them to continue?"