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Public Seminar Series, Trinity term 2020

#ByRefugees: Strengthening refugee-led humanitarian response during the Covid-19 pandemic

This seminar series focuses on refugee-led assistance and protection in the context of Covid-19. It features panels of individuals whose work is shaping how we understand and support refugee-led responses during crisis. Their accomplishments – whether as practitioners, policy influencers, funders, or community responders – challenge conventional top-down approaches to humanitarian assistance. These approaches are increasingly important in the current context, in which traditional humanitarian capacity has been stretched and forced to adapt. Refugee-led organisations are on the frontline of the response, in both refugee camps and cities.

The series will explore how refugees are responding to the current crisis, reflect on how they can be supported by external actors, and consider the prospects for creating lasting forms of participatory humanitarian governance. The majority of panelists are refugees.

All seminars will take place over Zoom and will allow time for Q&A sessions with the panelists. The series will be livestreamed via YouTube and recorded.  

Series Conveners: Alexander Betts and Andonis Marden (Refugee Studies Centre) and Shaza Al Rihawi, Anila Noor, Najeeba Wazefadost and Mustafa Alio (Global Refugee-Led Network)

Enquiries to Annelies Lawson ( 

Please note, all times listed are in BST (British Summer Time)

Please email for the Zoom access link by reply or watch on YouTube 

Global agenda setting, from the bottom up: the Global Refugee-Led Network (GRN)

Mustafa Alio – Refugee Advisor, Co-founder, Jumpstart Refugee Talent (Canada)

Shaza Al Rihawi – Founding Member and Interim Chair, GRN (Germany)

Anila Noor – Steering Committee Member, GRN (Netherlands)

Najeeba Wazefadost – Founding Member, GRN and Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (Australia)

In the first panel of the series, four refugee leaders within the Global Refugee-Led Network (GRN) will discuss how this pioneering transnational and grassroots network was formed, what it has accomplished, the challenges they have faced in international fora, and their vision for creating genuine partnership in the humanitarian regime. They will speak for approximately 45 minutes and will leave 45 minutes for Q&A. Subsequent to this panel, the four speakers will co-moderate the remaining seminars in the series. 

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

Connect with us

To keep up to date with our events and activities, sign up for email alerts from the RSC and Forced Migration Review, and connect with us on social media.

Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA