Activist citizens in an immigrant-friendly city: The natural helpers program

Sally Lamping, Melissa Bertolo, Tom Wahlrab

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In this article, we analyze what happens when a small, Midwestern, U.S. city intentionally acknowledges its exclusionary practices, identifies the ways in which social and systemic isolation dehumanize immigrant populations, and begins the long and serious work to become immigrant-friendly. We propose that the above three-pronged shift in the way we acknowledge, recognize, and engage with each other can disrupt victim/savior identities, blur power dynamics, and privilege ongoing reciprocal dialogue; this rejection of the dominant narrative of vulnerability surrounding forced migrant populations can become a mechanism for individuals to move into shared civic identity and “embodied belonging” (Mackenzie & Guntarik, 2015, p. 65). It can also create the necessary public and private space for individuals to engage in “acts of citizenship” (Isin, 2009; Swerts, 2017), regardless of citizenship status.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)330-337
    Number of pages8
    JournalPeace and Conflict: journal of peace psychology
    Volume24
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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