Phi Theta Kappa introduces Refugee Awareness Week at Southwestern College

Chula Vista, California, (November 8, 2016) – Southwestern College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter—Alpha Pi Epsilon—is building awareness for refugee issues during a week-long series of activities this month.

From Monday Nov. 14 – Thursday Nov. 18, members of the chapter’s Honors in Action program will host speakers, forums and performances. Leading off the series Monday is a presentation of students’ research on the major barriers facing refugees arriving in San Diego—language, housing, employment and medical needs. The research will be used in a national Phi Theta Kappa competition—How the World Works: Global Perspectives. The chapter chose the theme of Peace and War from among the eight themes included in the challenge.

On Tuesday, chapter members will accept donations to help a local church that has welcomed more than 4,000 Haitian refugees. The donations will benefit the refugees currently housed at the Christ Ministry Center in North Park.

On Wednesday, the chapter will host a resource fair of local non-profit organizations from the International Rescue Committee that have worked with refugee populations. Among the participants are the Catholic Charities, Native Interpreting, Niles Sisters, Planned Parenthood, Survivors of Torture, and the UCSD Department of Family Medicine and Family Health.

The week of activities culminates on Thursday when Christ Ministry Center Pastor Rev. Dr. Bill Jenkins speaks to the Southwestern College about his and the church’s experiences in hosting the Haitian refugees. Jenkins is the recipient of the 2016 Human Rights Commendation from the San Diego City Human Relations Commission for his work with Haitian refugees, and is the co-recipient of Amnesty International’s 2016 Digna Ochoa Human Rights Defender Award. Students in Southwestern College clubs will also perform.

All activities take place at 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. The activities on Monday – Wednesday will be held outside the Student Union Hall. The Thursday activities will be held in front of Mayan Hall. Southwestern College is located at 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista. For more information about this event, visit us at

About this project: This Honors in Action project is specifically designed to engage honor students in undergraduate research. Members have many opportunities to apply learning and research techniques to enlighten world-wide events. By engaging in Honors in Action, members display skills that will benefit them not only in their academic pursuits, but also in careers.

About Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society: This is an international organization for two-year colleges. The organization strives to develop academic scholars and future leaders. Phi Theta Kappa currently holds the highest transfer and graduation rates among all community colleges across America. It also provides an array of opportunities, from soft skills enhancement to scholarships exclusively for its members. For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, please visit