Immigration Series #3 - Refugees and Asylum (Student Version)

Overview
Today, we face a global refugee crisis. Millions of families have been forced to flee their homes in the Middle East and Europe, and many families from Central America seek asylum here in the US. This mass movement of people has generated a great deal of conversation: some people rush to welcome refugees, while others protest their arrival. This raises questions about how America should respond. Do we welcome refugees, or should we be wary? What role should America play?

This conversation is part of a three-part series about immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around refugees and asylum. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1 (~4 minutes)

Overview and agreements

Today, we face a global refugee crisis. Millions of families have been forced to flee their homes in the Middle East and Europe, and many families from Central America seek asylum here in the US. This mass movement of people has generated a great deal of conversation: some people rush to welcome refugees, while others protest their arrival. This raises questions about how America should respond. Do we welcome refugees, or should we be wary? What role should America play? This conversation is part of a three-part series about immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around refugees and asylum. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.
Round 2 (~15 minutes)

Reestablish connection

Get reacquainted with students from your paired classroom. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:


If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal in?
What hobby or activity would you try if money were no obstacle?
Round 3 (~20 minutes)

Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

Have you ever interacted directly with refugees coming to America for a better life? 
Why do you think people want to come to the U.S. and leave their home countries? 
If your home country became engulfed in a violent war, what would you do?
Are refugees dangerous?
How do Americans respond to refugees and immigrants? How do you want Americans to respond?

Round 4 (~10 minutes)

Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
Round 5 (~1 minutes)

Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!