“I had to learn how to be a Black man in the US.”

Watch these excerpts from recent New Immigrant and Refugee Visions events and donate to our final push for $10,500.

Help sensitize more people across the country to the challenges faced by immigrants and the contributions they make to our culture, economy, and social fabric.


The Challenges New Immigrants and Refugees Face

The following excerpts highlight the integration challenges that refugees face when entering the United States and navigating the social, cultural, legal, and financial systems:

“I came from a country where everyone looked like me and I had to learn how to be a Black man in the US.”

“You have to learn how to maneuver through the system … to make sure you are the ‘perfect minority.’”

Awale Farah, a Somali-American engineer and city council candidate in Kent, WA

“You are asking people who have escaped government oppression … to fill out a voter registration form … with their address … of course there is mistrust…”

– Nai Oo, a voter rights worker in Atlanta; Myanmar refugee and returned Peace Corps volunteer

“I wish people had believed in me when I came to this country.”

– Mani Biswa, Bhutanese refugee; refugee resettlement case worker in Columbus, Ohio; subject of Navigating Hope

These films reinforce “my already strongly held belief that our humanity is universal. We just have to talk and get to know each other to “see” that humanity.”

I learned about some refugee support organizations and work being done in other states that may be valuable connections for the work that I am involved with in Madison, WI.”

“I had never considered the possibility of people who have limited film experience being able to tell their stories in this medium.”


COVID and New Immigrant and Refugee Contributions

“The misperception about refugees are that they create more crime, take away jobs, are a drain on the economy…none of which are true. In fact they pay more taxes than they get in assistance … and are doing many of the frontline jobs.”

– Michael McGirr, Event Facilitator, returned Peace Corps volunteer

“As Bhutanese refugees, we were able to become role models in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Columbus, Ohio.”

– Mani Biswa, Bhutanese refugee; refugee resettlement case worker in Columbus, Ohio; subject of Navigating Hope

These films helped me to see “how important the ESOL and computer classes are to refugees and migrants to get the necessary skills to adapt and succeed in this country.”


Ways That You Can Help New Immigrants and Refugees

“I have seen for 40 years in of all places, Northeast Georgia, [native-born Americans] falling in love with refugees from all over the world. … Learning to meet people and to love them across all kind of barriers… I’ve heard this kind of spirit tonight. I want to get these movies and to show them to other people. I’m so inspired by what you folks are doing.”

– Don Mosely, event participant; returned Peace Corps volunteer; Jubilee Partners volunteer, Georgia

“This administration has cut a lot of funding …due to lack of funding [the refugee resettlement agencies] were not able to provide [vocational] training or even ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes.”

– Mani Biswa, Bhutanese refugee; refugee resettlement case worker in Columbus, Ohio; subject of Navigating Hope

“Not being shy about asking questions… advocating for people in your community…accompanying someone to an appointment…being fluent in English is a huge asset already.”

– Suzy Khachaturyan, Policy Analyst, North Carolina Justice Center and a Peace Corps volunteer

“Thank you so much for hosting this forum. I really hope that more people understand the terrific contributions refugees make to our social, economic and political fabric. Films and panelists were great.”


Please respond to this final push for $10,500 to promote a safer and more welcoming country for immigrants and refugees.

 

 

Thanks,
Michael Sheridan
Director, Community Supported Film