Oral Histories: Finding Refuge in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY has a century long history of welcoming immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. For many years now, refugees and immigrants have contributed to the prosperity and diversity of WNY. However, numerous cultural, religious, educational, economic, language, social, and political barriers affect their health and wellbeing. Nationalistic ideologies are breeding fear and persecution of the ‘other’ leading to overt and subtle degrees of discrimination. Some fear what they do not know.

Resettlement agencies, municipalities, businesses, higher education institutions, and community-based organizations work tirelessly to ensure refugees have access to the necessary resources and opportunities. Yet, many refugees feel their voices aren’t being heard.

In Spring 2019, the Community for Global Health Equity (CGHE) led a UB Honors College Colloquium focused on Refugee Health and Wellbeing. CGHE paired Honors College students with 10 local community members who arrived in Buffalo as refugees. UB students interviewed community members and then transformed those interviews into narratives. 

The Community for Global Health Equity would like to thank the students, community members, and UB faculty and staff who were a part of this project.