The Syracuse University Program for Refugee Assistance (SUPRA), formed to host free English classes to Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees in Syracuse, is an excellent example of university-community partnership for social transformation. In the Fall of 2011, Syracuse University’s graduate students from across the disciplines teamed up with (Bhutanese refugee) community volunteers and launched English literacy classes several hours per week for newly arrived Bhutanese refugees in the city. As a native speaker of Nepali and a member of SUPRA team, I also had an opportunity to become a part of the refugees’ cultural and linguistic transition. Connected with that wonderful experience, in my presentation, I will narrate the traumatic stories of Bhutanese refugees, their roundabout journey to Syracuse and their rehabilitation ordeals in newfound homes. I will also recount how Syracuse University through SUPRA (a manifestation of ‘Scholarship in Action’) became involved with the refugees’ struggle for linguistic and cultural adaptation. By describing how the refugee community, Syracuse University and CYO church, North Syracuse collaborated for intercultural and English language literacies of refugees, I will highlight the program’s outcomes as well as its stakes. Finally, I will explain why it is worth for institutions like Syracuse University spending their money and energy for community services. The mutual learning and the conversations that happen between their members and the members of their neighborhoods are the most precious things the intuitions like Syracuse University can and should ever aspire to achieve.

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