The Rohingya of Myanmar (Burma)—Persecuted, Isolated, Hopeful
Since August, 2017, over one million Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma’s Rakhine State to escape the military’s large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing. Currently, this is the largest and most problematic refugee camp in the world, and the scale of this humanitarian disaster is difficult to fathom. Janet Billson has studied this international crises and will speak about the ongoing efforts by several countries to accept these refugees, and to provide a safe and secure return to their homeland.
Janet Mancini Billson, Director of Group Dimensions International and former Professor of Sociology at The George Washington University, received her MA (1972) and PhD (1976) in Sociology from Brandeis University. Dr. Billson has conducted social policy research since 1981, serving a wide variety of clients on international development, social policy, and organizational collaboration/strategic planning. Research, training, and lecturing have taken her to over 70 countries, including all of Southeast Asia, East and North Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Her clients include the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Bank, the International Development Research Centre (Canada), the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (Japan), several United Nations agencies, as well as foundations, universities, and hospitals. She completed a database for the UNWOMEN on gender indicators for the former states of the Soviet Union.
Dr. Billson’s work has contributed to social policy shifts and program redevelopment at the national and international levels. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow and Danforth Associate, she received the Society for Applied Sociology’s “Award for Sociological Practice” in 2000 and the District of Columbia Sociological Society’s “Stuart A. Rice Achievement Award” in 2001. She was keynote speaker (Sustainable Development Goals) for the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon in 2019. She happily lives in Indigo Run.