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Badiah is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. She received her M.S.W. in 2011 from the University of Denver, and is the recipient of the Jean Sinnock Award for her overall contribution to GSSW, her commitment to social justice and her representation of the social work profession. She currently serves as the doctoral student representative on GSSW’s Advisory Council on Racial Diversity (ACoRD) and for the Shades of Brown Alliance (SOBA).
Born and raised in South Africa, she ventured to the United States to pursue academic social work training. Her prior social work experiences are: domestic violence, hospice, persons with physical disabilities, reducing health disparities in Black/African communities, crisis intervention, trauma and substance abuse.
Badiah's research is in the intersection of immigration policy, particularly as it relates to African women and youth with refugee status and asylum seekers in the U.S. Drawing from two theories of oppression: Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Africana Womanism, she critically examined the resettlement process; specifically, economic self-sufficiency, cultural integration, and trauma, and its impact on the transition to life in the US for African women with refugee status.
Additionally, Badiah investigates refugee educational disparities in the U.S. public school system, including refugee family culture-school culture conflict. It also includes exploring from refugee parent (s)/community perspectives the difficulties in interacting with the system and supporting their child’s education in a new country, specifically the cross-cultural challenges.
Ms. Haffejee presently mentors and works with youth from refugee backgrounds at South High School in Denver, utilizing Digital Storytelling narrative as an intervention for healing experiences of trauma for these youth. Badiah also coordinates and facilitates an afterschool program with these youth at South High School.
Badiah is also involved in an adult service learning project (refugee job training and mentorship) established between the ECDC/African Community Center in Denver, a refugee resettlement agency, and the Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at DU. Her work examines refugee outcomes; specifically, she looks at whether participation in this program is associated with increased social connectedness, self-efficacy, and improved psychological well-being.
Badiah was research assistant to Dr. Kim Bender collecting and analyzing longitudinal data from homeless youth. She also worked as a graduate research assistant for the Bridge Project.
Badiah served as a teaching assistant in the Interventions in Child & Adolescents Mental Health class and History of Social Welfare class. She also co-taught the Social Work Practice and Empowerment classes.
As a passionate community social worker, Badiah is constantly fuelled by being in service to vulnerable and marginal populations through community activism, policy advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement.
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