Impact Award 2021 for Halleh Ghorashi, initiator Refugee Academy

On November 9, 2021, Halleh Ghorashi received the Impact Award 2021 for her research on refugees and diversity. Her research focuses mainly on the stories of refugees and migrants. The Impact Award is presented every year to renowned researchers or research groups who make a meaningful contribution to society. Halleh is Professor of Diversity and Integration at the Free University and a member of the Supervisory Board of Movisie.

An interview with Halleh Ghorashi can be found here

Ghorashi is founder/director of the Refugee Academy, part of the Institute for Social Resilience at the VU University. 


Refugee Academy meeting, drawn by Parisa Akbarzadeh Poladi.

The Refugeee Academy writes on its website:

"The arrival of new flows of refugees in recent years affects many people in the Netherlands. Various municipalities, organizations and neighborhood initiatives are experimenting with innovative approaches for the inclusion and social participation of beneficiaries. However, no single party can offer all solutions on its own. the knowledge gained by scientists, policy makers, social partners and refugees themselves is therefore of great importance.

Connecting knowledge

The Refugee Academy, one of the expertise labs of the Institute for Societal Resilience of the VU University Amsterdam, offers a framework within which we can connect existing academic, professional and local knowledge to bring research and practice related to refugee issues closer together. The Refugee Academy does this by organizing thematic meetings for professionals, experts by experience and scientists. The Refugee Academy is aimed at increasing the learning and reflective capacities of all parties involved. Together we formulate workable conditions that make inclusion possible in practice. These conditions are necessary to allow refugees to fully integrate in the Netherlands and to contribute to inclusive spaces in which unorthodox connections can arise between people.

The Refugee Academy can be seen as a horizontal learning and reflective infrastructure, a kind of capacity building, connecting existing knowledge and perspectives on refugee inclusion from multiple positions.

The idea for the Refugee Academy stems from several innovative, small-scale committed research projects in which researchers collaborated with different societal actors (scientists, professionals and refugees/migrants) to give new dimensions to the inclusion of refugees.

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