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  • Acculturation is the process of adjusting personal behavior patterns in response to prolonged interaction with another culture [1, 2].
  • Discrimination in the host country significantly affects the acculturation process. Refugees have an extremely high risk for discrimination [3]. Discrimination exacerbates existing mental health conditions and activates the HPA [4].
  • In the South Philadelphia refugees from Bhutan and Myanmar have been resettled into the neighborhood of East Passyunk/Moymensing. This demographic change has unfortunately resulted in acts of discrimination by the local community against the refugees.
  • Mural Arts is painting a mural in the heart of this neighborhood. This mural will announce the presence of the refugees in the neighborhood as well as signal the city government’s acceptance of the refugees.
  • It is unclear if the government’s painting will help the refugees gain acceptance into the community, and put an end the hateful acts directed against the refugees.

The Question: In the event that the refugee community continues to face prejudice in its new home, could the mural and its construction, similar to art therapy, help individuals combat the psychologically and physiologic negative consequences of discrimination?

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