Questions to Consider While Watching the Films: The purpose of the New Immigrant and Refugee Visions project is to use the films to stimulate discussion.
Here are some questions to consider as you watch the films:
- What do you relate to in the films? What reminds you of things in your own life? Or conversely, what feels unfamiliar, new, or surprising?
- How are the immigrant family relations depicted in the films similar or different than yours?
- Do you have one or more places that you call home and how does that effect your sense of belonging?
- Do you speak one or more languages at home? Or, are multiple languages spoken in your community? How does a mono-lingual, mono-cultural or multi-lingual, multi-cultural environment impact you as an immigrant or as someone born in the US?
- Some describe the US as a melting pot and others as a salad bowl? What is your opinion of this distinction and how does it affect you?
- Are immigrants increasing or decreasing economic growth and opportunity in the United States and how does this impact you?
- Do you work in the same industry as most of your friends and family or is this a unique and acceptable aspect of the immigrant experience?
- Can you think of an occasion when you changed your mind about an issue? What would change people’s minds about immigrants or immigration?
- Have you ever been, or witnessed someone being, misunderstood, stereotyped or attacked for what they look like or where they come from? What does being American mean to you? What actions do you take to deal with these differences and confrontations?
Issues to Consider During Discussion: Immigrant issues in America can generate strong opinions, but we are committed to providing a safe space for everyone to engage in productive civil discourse.
Topics that may come up and things to think about even if we don’t talk about them:
- Immigrant Perspectives: Similarities between immigrant lives and your own; Challenges that immigrants face; Contributions that immigrants make to American society.
- Native-born Perspectives: Reasons that some might be uncomfortable with new immigrants and their social and economic and cultural impact.
- Media: What gets covered by broadcast, print & social media? What doesn’t? Why? How does media representation of immigrants affect public perception, behavior and policy? What is the value of amplifying immigrant voices in the media?
- Policies & Regulations: How do public attitudes impact policies? How do we decide what policies demonstrate social and economic justice?
- Behaviors & Priorities: What drives social and political behavior? How does society change what behaviors are acceptable?
- Myths: How do we know what are myths vs. facts about immigrants? How do we learn and communicate the facts and our interpretation of the facts?