Tiller, who is majoring in political science and global studies, volunteers with the Refugee Community Partnership and has taught English to refugees in the past.
She said the Chapel Hill community has a history of refugees — including UNC students, campus workers and several Syrian families who have resettled in the area.
“It’s a global issue, but it’s so, so local because it’s impacting our immediate community,” Tiller said. “I mean, on campus, down the street from where you live — it has a really interesting geopolitic to it.”
Tiller said she hopes No Lost Generation will work in tandem with other refugee organizations in the community, complementing their actions and filling an important, independent niche — one that helps raise awareness of the refugee crisis.
First-year Lizzi Gibson, a member of No Lost Generation, said she is looking forward to interacting with refugees in person to find out what they need and would appreciate from the community. She hopes No Lost Generation will bring the discussion to UNC students and help to quell any underlying fears — fears she said have caused many people to support the recent ban on refugees.
“I think Martin Luther King Jr. said that people fear the unknown,” Gibson said. “And people don’t get along with people they fear. So I think the more students and Americans know about these people — who are just people, they’re not ‘Islamic terrorists’ — the more they know about them, the less they’ll fear.”
Junior Elliot Krause said he believes America was founded on the idea of welcoming those in need, referencing the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty. He said turning away people in need is not what America is about.
“Every refugee comes here for some reason or another and it’s because, I believe, they’re hoping for a better life here. I want them to be able to find that life," he said. "And everyone needs to recognize that, at one point or another, someone in their family line was a refugee here. And I think that it’s important that we take that into mind when we look at this situation now.”