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Webinar: How COVID-19 is disrupting marginalized communities worldwide

Government restrictions on movement and economic activities in response to COVID-19 have disrupted many small businesses, especially those of already vulnerable populations, like the displaced Syrian and Iraqi communities in Lebanon and neighboring countries.

In a webinar at noon CST on Tuesday, April 28, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law professor Juliet Sorensen and Near East Foundation President Charles Benjamin will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates existing challenges for marginalized communities and creates new challenges, drawing on a recent Near East Foundation assessment of the pandemic’s effects on the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide. The two also will discuss lessons learned from efforts to adapt.

Media are invited to attend and can remotely access the webinar at this link using password 1234. Reporters must RSVP with Mohamed Abdelfattah at

The webinar is part of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs’ Confronting COVID-19: Global Implications and Futures webinar series.  

Webinar presenters:

Charles Benjamin is president of the Near East Foundation (NEF), which helps build more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, community organizing and economic development. Benjamin began his affiliation with NEF in 1993 as country director in Morocco. Before joining NEF, he spent several years in Morocco as a Fulbright Scholar and Peace Corps volunteer. Benjamin also served as a professor of international environment issues and development at Williams College.

Juliet Sorensen is a clinical professor of law at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Center for International Human Rights, where her teaching and research focus includes international criminal law, corruption and health and human rights. Sorensen is the director and founder of the Northwestern Access to Health Project, an interdisciplinary partnership that analyzes access to health in resource limited settings. Sorensen also serves as executive director of Injustice Watch, a non-partisan, not-for-profit, multimedia journalism organization that conducts in-depth research exposing institutional failures that obstruct justice and equality.