The Plight of the Refugee

June 20th was World Refugee Day. MAIS student and activist, Meron Semedar, wrote and recited a powerful poem that we’re proud to share here. Meron read his poem at an event in Oakland that brought together more than 750 people.

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The plight of a refugee: 

Tormented by war

Tortured by oppression

Enslaved by dictators

Dehumanized by persecution,


Denied to assemble

Not allowed to practice my religion

Could not choose my gender

Suffered for belonging to my ethnicity

Lost my dignity

I became a refugee,


Crossing boarder just to get little safety

Braved shoot to kill policy

Became smugglers property

Abandoned in the Sahara desert

Kept hostage for ransom

Traffickers sold my organ

My body in the Mediterranean

I am an Eritrean

Continue reading “The Plight of the Refugee”


MAIS ’15 Alum: Building Bridges on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Under the white-hot glare of the U.S.-Mexico border debate, Charlie Cutler MAIS ’15 is launching a new tennis and tutoring program for underserved kids in the cross-border town of Nogales, which straddles Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora.

Source: Building Bridges on the U.S.-Mexico Border

This program, the Border Youth Tennis Exchange (BYTE), is a non-profit that “provides athletic training and a specialized National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) educational curriculum to youth on both sides of the US/Mexico border.” Through this experience, BYTE works to “strengthen border communities and bridge social, economic, and political gaps” between the two countries. The organization, started by Charlie Cutler, is a glowing example of how students take the experiences from MAIS, both in and out of the classroom, and bring them into the world to make it a better place.


As written in a recent USF News article spotlighting BYTE, “USF’s international studies program offered interesting classes and the freedom to study issues such as Central American economic history, refugees, and U.S. asylum policy. Cutler also benefitted from the program’s numerous San Francisco connections that allowed him to meet leaders of organizations operating in countries around the world, see how nonprofits worked from the inside, and intern for a number of them — including coordinating an inmate tennis program and teaching college prep writing at San Quentin State Prison.”

We are proud to call Charlie Cutler a MAIS alum and encourage you to check out the following links to learn more about BYTE and how you can support this organization.

BYTE Website | USTA Article | USF article | BYTE Video

Interested in Feminist Foreign Policy?

Then you need to know about Professor Wibben…

A. Wibben

Politics professor and International Studies adviser, Annick T.R. Wibben, gave a Keynote Lecture on “Feminist Foreign Policy” at the Swedish Political Science Association conference in Stockholm in October 2015, having been interviewed by Swedish National Radio in December 2014 on her research. In November 2015, she led a webinar on the same topic for the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom on whose Academic Network she has served since 2013.

In spring 2016, she published a book chapter on “The Promise and Dangers of Human Security“, an article on “Opening Security: Recovering Critical Scholarship as Political” and a new (edited) book, Researching War: Feminist Ethics, Methods and Politics. She also continues to blog at the Duck of Minerva and occasionally writes pieces for a non-academic audience, like this one “The Value of Feminist Scholarship on Security“.

Annick recently finished her term (2014-2016) as chair of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section of the International Studies Association, on whose Executive Committee she has served since 2008, but continues her service to the organization as Vice-Chair of the Women’s Caucus in International Studies.