FGCUnited forum – Soccer backdrop for refugee story

Florida Gulf Coast University invites students to participate in “FGCUnited: An Evening on the Refugee Experience” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22 in the Cohen Center ballroom.
The forum will focus on themes related to the book “Outcasts United” by Warren St. John, the University’s One Book, One Campus selection. The annual reading project involves first-year students, faculty and staff, and it incorporates classroom curriculum and community-engagement activities.
The novel “Outcasts United: An American Town, A Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference” is a true story of a youth soccer team, The Fugees, made up of refugees whose families have been resettled in a small Georgia town. The inspirational book follows The Fugees’ indomitable coach, a young immigrant from Jordan, as she fights to find a place for her team to play in a community where these children represent unwelcome change.
Panelists Harry Casimir, Salim Ayubi, Yuri Kaplun and Hiram Ruiz have been invited to share their perspectives on the refugee experience at “FGCUnited.”
“‘Outcasts United’ offers powerful messages about tolerance, perseverance and the possibility of one person making a difference in a community,” said Jim Wohlpart, dean of undergraduate studies and professor of environmental literature. “These are important life lessons that complement what students learn in the classroom.”
The University is teaming up with local libraries, high schools, bookstores and book clubs to encourage participation in activities tied to the book and dialogue revolving around its themes.
On Monday, Nov. 10, the One Book, One Campus program and FGCU’s Rescue Team will hold a collaborative awareness program, “Voices of the Black Market Generation,” which will focus on themes related to the book. Representatives from Liberty in North Korea, the only grassroots organization in North America dedicated to the North Korean human rights and refugee crises, will attend. The free event is at 5 p.m. in Cohen Center Room 213.
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, the University will present OBOC Feature Film Night. The film will be “Rain in a Dry Land,” which follows the fortunes of two Somali families resettling in the United States. It will be screened from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Academic Building 7, Room 114. Admission is free.
More details and additional events will be posted on the FGCU One Book, One Campus Facebook page and @FGCU_OBOC on Twitter.