Seed Grant Projects | Funded Teams
Safe places and politics of fear: An interdisciplinary investigation of “Sanctuary Cities”


This project considers ways that cities might become more resilient as they respond to various forms of oppression, human rights violations, and other unjust exercises of power worldwide. As an entry point to this issue, we focus on Boston and the concept of sanctuary cities. Our interdisciplinary research team will explore four aspects of the sanctuary cities concept and its implementation in Boston: (1) their philosophical grounding; (2) their intersecting legal frameworks, including infrastructure, immigrant status and law enforcement; (3) their impacts on health and well-being of city residents; and (4) their spatial dimensions. We will expand our knowledge base through engagement with local and national experts, convening a series of group consultations. Our team will initiate several pilot projects to further explore the impact and significance of the sanctuary city concept, leveraging ongoing research involving immigrants’ experiences of bias in Boston. Our exploration will involve travel to at least two other U.S. sanctuary cities to initiate a comparative analysis.

Team Members