Skip to main content
Boston College School of Social Work



Diversity Series: "Man on Fire"

Photo from the "Man on Fire" exhibit.
A photo from "Man on Fire," an exhibit of images and words honoring the legacy of Father Pedro Arrupe, the founder of Jesuit Refugee Service.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2009

The Graduate School of Social Work and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice are honored to welcome to Boston College "Man on Fire," an exhibit of images and words honoring the legacy of Father Pedro Arrupe, the founder of Jesuit Refugee Service.

"Man on Fire" Exhibition
September 24 – October 15, 2009
Opening: Thursday, September 24th
4:00 -4:30 pm
Graduate School of Social Work Library

This powerful and important exhibit offers a window into the experiences of displaced people, those who had little choice but to move from their homes. We are profoundly grateful to the men, women, and children who, by sharing their words and images, not only reveal stories of adversity and suffering but also teach us about the remarkable capacity for healing and recovery present in individuals, families, and communities. We are also grateful to Jesuit Refugee Service for sharing this exhibit with the community of Boston College. The ethos of the Jesuit Refugee Service, to accompany, to serve and to plead the cause of refugees and those forcibly displaced, echoes the core values of the profession of social work and of our school. We invite you to visit the exhibit located in our social work library and to read and reflect on the many lessons contained in the images and in the materials that accompany the display.

GSSW Diversity Series Initiative 2009 - 2010: "Refugees and Immigrants"

In 2006, we at the Graduate School of Social Work re-dedicated ourselves to preparing future generations of social workers for the challenges and opportunities of professional practice and research in a world of complex and remarkable diversity. Our profession calls for us to embrace that vital challenge with a spirit of good will, an eagerness to be taught by those we seek to serve, and with humility rooted in the knowledge that the learning will never end.

We respond to that challenge by focusing this year on the experiences, strengths and concerns of refugees and immigrants. A full appreciation for the numbers of people forced to wander in search of safe haven, opportunity, or freedom from tyranny and oppression can be overwhelming.

  • In 2009, 42 million people will be uprooted in our world.
  • 16 million will be refugees and asylum seekers.
  • 80 percent of refugees will live in developing countries.
  • 26 million will be uprooted in their own country.
  • These figures do not reflect the 4,000,000 Palestinian refugees registered with the UN, nor the millions of people displaced by natural disasters and climate change each year.
  • In 2008, 60,108 people were admitted to the United States as refugees and a further 22,930 were granted asylum .
  • In 2008, over 1 million persons obtained legal permanent residential status in the U.S.
  • In 2008, 39 million people made non-immigrant admission (I 94) to the US. Many of these were tourists or students.
  • In 2008, 11 million unauthorized migrants were residing in the US .

Clearly today, many people are on the move in our world.