Emerging Leaders Project: Connecting University Resources to Community-Based Organizations Supporting Refugee Resettlement


  • Rosemarie Hunter University of Utah
  • Kara Mileski University of Utah




University-community partnerships, refugee resettlement, capacity building, community-based research


In recent decades, populations seeking refuge have underscored the limitations of what have been standard approaches to resettlement. Shrinking resources, post-9/11 increase in security measures, and the diverse needs and assets of new arriving populations have exacerbated existing weaknesses in U.S. social service delivery systems and challenged neighborhoods inexperienced in these areas with complex issues of integration (Kerwin, 2011). In response to these issues, the University of Utah, the Utah State Refugee Services Office, and Salt Lake City Community College started an initiative to support the development of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and provide leadership and organizational training to existing leaders within these communities. The project created a shared space for community capacity building and integration as a two-way process. This paper will describe the formation and impact of the Emerging Leaders Project, a community-based participatory action research (CBPR) project focused on capacity building with new arriving communities in Salt Lake City.

Author Biographies

Rosemarie Hunter, University of Utah

Assistant Professor College of Social Work University of Utah Special Assistant to the President for Campus Community Partnerships University of Utah Director, University Neighborhood Partners 1060 South 900 West Salt Lake City, Utah, 84104 (801) 972-3596 Fax- (801) 972-3628

Kara Mileski, University of Utah

MSW PhD Student, Graduate Assistant University of Utah