Check out these refugee-focused projects or activists we are impressed by...

 

WHO IS INVOLVED?

Sankar Raman & team

WHAT IT'S CALLED

"The Immigrant Story"

POSTED

August 1, 2018

 Sankar Raman of "The Immigrant Story is the American Story"

Sankar Raman of "The Immigrant Story is the American Story"

Hear from Sankar himself as he talks about his passion to bring empathy through storytelling

Sankar Raman retired in August 2016 from his job in the tech industry, then watched as the political climate in the United States shifted to one in which immigrants and refugees were being used as scapegoats. Raman felt that a counter-narrative was needed. So in February 2017, he started a nonprofit: The Immigrant Story (TIS).

TIS humanizes refugees and immigrants by pairing an engaging image with a short story documenting their lives. These pictures and stories have been seen all over the world. Several stories have received more than 50,000 views on social media.

So far, most of the stories focus on immigrants and refugees in Oregon, but Raman intends to expand TIS’ storytelling nationwide. Upcoming profiles include residents as far away as Indiana and Tennessee.

In less than a year and a half, Raman has pulled together a team of volunteer journalists, storytellers, writers, photographers, graphic designers, web developers and marketing specialists. More than 20 volunteers pool their talents, skills and experience to report and disseminate stories of immigrants and refugees. The Immigrant Story publishes one story a week and and hosts one event a month. (You can read more about the project at TheImmigrantStory.org/our-story/).

Raman enjoys the creative aspect of the project. A longtime photographer, he now enjoys additional creative challenges, such as web design. He learned how to design a website by watching YouTube videos — using that newfound knowledge to create TheImmigrantStory.org.

Raman would like to see these images and stories in other public spaces, such as airports or even on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. His ultimate goal is the creation of a museum dedicated to telling the stories of immigrants.

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Raman thinks it is important to document the various waves of immigrants — to discover why they came to the United States and to record for posterity the contributions of these immigrants to American history, life and culture.

If you want to follow these incredible stories, go to @theimmigrantstory on Facebook and @_ImmigrantStory on Twitter or the website - https://TheImmigrantStory.org

 

WHAT IT'S CALLED

"Hope For A Bright Future"

POSTED

May 10, 2018

WHO IS INVOLVED?

Abel Getachew

 
 Abel Getachew

Abel Getachew

Abel Getachew is a refugee from Ethiopia. He has recently navigated the U.S. Educational System including college applications. He understands the challenge of adjusting to the American school systems and therefore created an organization, Hope for a Bright Future, which provides refugee and immigrant students with free school supplies, tutoring, and motivational speeches. His goal is to inspire young, new incoming students who are already disadvantaged to overcome their struggles and rise above to attain success. Getachew makes motivational videos for other students. A video he made with Felix Songolo, "Ten Tips on How to Integrate to the U.S. School System Successfully", is now used by schools across the country. He also created a video for teachers with the help of Refugee Center Online, that can help them learn how to assist new immigrant and refugee students to ease their transition into the United States schools.

Getachew is currently leading a team raising funds to hire tutors that will assist students in preparing for college. Donations go to "Hope For A Bright Future" to create a college and scholarship essay workshop on Saturdays for 20 refugee students, who are from the Middle East, with the help of Refugee Center Online and Portland Refugee Support Group. This program provides ongoing support for the 20 students throughout the year.  There will be weekly 3 hour meetings designed to support them with college and scholarship essays, school works, ACT/SAT preparation, and college and scholarship applications. Three or four tutors will be hired to assist. Getachew's vision is that all 20 students will attend four-year colleges. 

If you want to help him with his vision, you can donate on his GoFund Me page. On this page, Getachew provides his personal story that helps you understand how he was led to form this organization. 

 

SHOUT-OUT TO A LOCAL

Community Activist

WHO IS INVOLVED?

Som Subedi

POSTED

March 2018

 
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Som Subedi is a well known, much loved Portland refugee activist. He has organized many Portland events, most recently the "No Muslim Ban Ever" at the Portland Airport on January 27th, 2018.

Subedi arrived in Portland in 2008 after living in Nepal as a refugee, fleeing Bhutan during the "One Nation, One People" policy in the early 90's. 

Subedi, who grew up playing soccer with upcycled plastic bags in the forest near the refugee camp, felt lost upon his arrival in Portland. "There was no one to tell us where the clubs were, where soccer was played, or how to get a permit for a park," Subedi said. Out of necessity, he began to organize. In March of 2010, Iraqi, Bhutanese, Burmese, Russian and Turkish youth gathered at Mill Park in Southeast Portland. One month later, plans for the Portland World Cup were in motion through the grassroots organizing of Subedi and others.

The Portland World Cup is a free two-day soccer tournament for immigrant and refugee youth. In 2017, 22 teams took the field, 79 games were played and six city bureaus took part as both sponsors and coaching staff.

In 2015, the Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau hired Subedi full-time to run Parks for New Portlanders, a program that aims to make Portland's public green spaces welcoming and accessible to refugees and immigrants. Subedi hires a team of part-time youth ambassadors--immigrants themselves--to help organize the Portland World Cup and other events, like concerts and dance performances.

 

PROJECT VISION

Middle East House

WHO IS INVOLVED?

Fatein Mahmoud

POSTED

March 2018

middle east house.jpg

Meetings have begun to look into forming a Mideast House similar to The Asia House and Africa House.

Email Fatein for more info...