Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Tara Deubel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dillon Mahoney, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roberta Baer, Ph.D.


grassroots, empowerment, integration,, R&P Program


This report details the qualitative findings from an evaluation of the Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative (RAMWI) in Tampa, FL. Founded in 2013, the 501(c)(3) provides cultural knowledge and sewing classes to resettled refugee women. Using primarily semi-structured interviews and participant observation, I place a critical lens on the non-profit to examine how refugee women and volunteers use the provided resources and experience the values (e.g., empowerment, vulnerability) RAMWI centralizes in its programs.

Interviews with refugee women, volunteers, and key informants revealed that the challenges RAMWI faces derive from six key areas of contention: 1) an informal organizational structure; 2) the lack of clear communication; 3) transportation; 4) minimal funding; 5) inclusion and participation difficulties; and 6) unclear understandings of empowerment. Many of these challenges revolve around crucial foundational organizational building blocks and thus, make it difficult for RAMWI to self-sustain itself and grow. In order to provide RAMWI with practical considerations and action items for the future, I offer recommendations that take into consideration resources, organizational capacity, funding, and time of implementation. In particular, I emphasize increasing organizational structure; clearer communication; and refugee women’s inclusion and participation not only in classes, but also in designing the growth of RAMWI.