BY Andrea Vidal

The first months of each year bring a breath of new life for many. As a proud, all-female team working on forced migration, many events in these first months of 2017 have deeply challenged us. Recently, one instance seemed to project our essence: the silencing of Elizabeth Warren and her subsequent decision to finish speaking Correta Scott King's words on social media.

This is really how Urban Refuge started. Each of us decided to take IR500 Forced Migration and Human Trafficking out of a desire to act. When we found our policy recommendations falling short of action, we took change in our own hands.

I am fascinated by each of our own separate wills becoming a single coherent voice. Within that voice lies a deep sense of camaraderie.

This gives me a fierce hope for the future.

In honor of International Women’s Day (or everyday as we celebrate it at UR) and Elizabeth Warrens persistence, I wrote this poem to remind us of our spirit.




Each swings the door to a classroom like the rest,


boots dragging…


there is excitement.


there is exhaustion.


there are nerves



Building Connecting






A collective…


each becomes we.


boots skipping


there’s vibrancy,


there’s vida…



We are waves



Building mixing




So we continue.