A set of paired, face-to-face conversations and individual testimonials about a diversity of immigrant experiences, this space is designed to inspire immigrants by listening and learning from others' stories, and to inform the community at large about the realities of the immigrant experience. The first set of vignettes was recorded at KGNU Community Radio's studios. Below that section is a space designed for our members to contribute their own stories and add them to this space. To view contributions from our community, click here or scroll down.
I paired immigrants from different countries and regions to compare and contrast their immigration experiences and to highlight the inequities that are built into the immigration system here in the US.
Conversaciones en pares
Puse en parejas a inmigrantes de diferentes países y regiones para que se cuenten sus experiencias y así poder comparar y contrastar sus historias y sacar a la luz las desigualdades e injusticias del sistema de inmigración de los EEUU.
Zoya and Micklina (South Africa)
José y Edgar (El Salvador)
Raj and Ashmi (India)
Gabriella y Ana María (Venezuela)
Claudia and Berenice (Mexico)
Siri y Orlando (Mexico)
Nana and Nami (Ghana)
Lilah and Talia (Mexico and Pakistan)
Zoya and Micklina
Zoya Elhassen and Micklina Kenyi are both from Sudan, Africa. They came to the US as refugees, and in their view, the important thing is "not to fit in, but to stand out", and to keep your own culture even as you forge a life in a new country. Listen to their stories of how they escaped their war-torn country, only to have to withstand hardship and humiliation before being "approved" for travel to the US.
José y Edgar
José M. y Edgar A. son salvadoreños. Sin embargo, sus experiencias e historias migratorias son muy diferentes. José vino durante la adolescencia con su familia, escapando de la guerra civil que afectaba a su país. Hoy es profesor universitario. Edgar vino por tierra, caminando. Pensaba quedarse dos años, hasta poder ahorrar lo suficiente para volver a su tierra y darle una vida mejor a su familia.
Raj and Ashmi
Raj Rawat and Ashmi Desai are both from India. Raj came to the US many years ago for his studies, and found many mentors who shaped his decisions. Then, he became a mentor himself, and even wrote "Find Your Everest," an impactful message of inspiration for young people. Ashmi is pursuing a PhD in media at the University of Colorado, and has joined the board of the United Nations Association in Boulder. She mentors students at the university.
Gabriella y Ana María
Gabriella y AnaMaría son inmigrantes de Venezuela que tuvieron la suerte de venir a los Estados Unidos hace más de 20 años cuando la situación de su país estaba relativamente bien. Gaby se c aso con un americano pero de padres europeos mientras que Ana María obtuvo la visa O que se la dieron a su esposo por ser un arqueólogo marino cuyo talento estaba en alta de manda en esa época en este este país.
Claudia and Berenice
Claudia Murphy and Berenice Tellez came to the US with documents, after leaving a life of privilege in Mexico. They have brought with them a social consciousness and environmental awareness that they hope will help local communities have a better life.
Siri y Orlando
Siri Martínez y Orlando Martínez son ambos de México. Nos cuentan sobre sus experiencias como inmigrantes. Siri, por su ancestro indígena, se sintió muy bien al conocer culturas nativas en este país. Orlando es chef en la Universidad de Colorado. Los dos hacen buena química, a pesar de no haberse conocido antes.
This is the story of Nana Boakye, interviewed by Nami, a soccer coach here in Boulder. Nana played professional soccer in Germany. He came to the US to witness his brother's wedding as best man. A strange event at the airport caused him to overstay his visa. He thinks of this as a sign that he was meant to stay here.
Lilah and Talia
(Ireland-Mexico and Turkey)
Lilah Mares and Talia Aygun are first generation Americans. They are both US citizens and university students. Their conversation revolves around the awkwardness of being between two cultures - white in appearance but from a foreign land, they feel they don't belong in either their adopted culture nor their culture of birth.
Single Immigrant Stories
These individual immigration testimonials include stories from young Dreamers (DACA recipients) who struggle to understand why the current administration wants them to go back to a country they no longer remember. These stories inspired me to focus on the immigrant question for this project. The testimonials from these DACA recipients begin with "Dear United States..." as if they were letters petitioning the government and the population to consider their situation and move to provide them a path to become citizens of the only country they know.
Historias de Inmigración
Estos testimonios individuales incluyen historias de jóvenes soñadores (recipientes de DACA), quienes luchan por entender el por qué el actual gobierno los quiere devolver a un país que ya no forma parte de su memoria. Estas historias me inspiraron a investigar el tema de inmigración para este proyecto. Los testimonios de las personas bajo DACA comienzan con las palabras "Queridos Estados Unidos... como si fuesen cartas al gobierno y al pueblo para que consideren su situación y los movilicen a crear un camino hacia la ciudadanía en el único país que realmente conocen.
Adriana Montiel arrived in the US as a one-year-old. She is a DACA (Dream Act) recipient and Boulder resident. She is an activist student at the University of Colorado, and president of the CU Dreamers.
Carlos arrived in the US as a one-year-old. He is a DACA (Dream Act) recipient and Boulder resident. He is a business student at the University of Colorado.
Shyana came from China as a young girl, and is a DACA recipient. Her family had to leave China because her parents were expecting a second child, which would have been a problem for the family. She is a student at CU.
Juan is the President of Dreamers United, a University of Colorado organization for DACA students. He studies engineering, and he likes to share his accomplishments and to highlight the accomplishment of other DACA students.