Coming to America
Immigration has been all over the news, especially here in Georgia, but it’s not every day that we hear the voices of immigrant sharing their own stories. On May 24, StoryCorps Atlanta hosted a public listening event at the Auburn Avenue Research Library to share the stories of Atlantans who immigrated to the United States.
A number of StoryCorps alumni were invited to share their stories and to talk about why they came to StoryCorps. (Use the links to listen to their stories online.)
Theresa Nguyen came to the United States after the fall of Saigon. She and her daughter, Stephanie, described how the intimate conversation they had at StoryCorps has helped bring them closer.
Sara Takele fled her home country of Ethiopia decades ago. She has spent more than twenty years now navigating this country, not only as an immigrant, but as the mother of a special-needs son. After playing her story, Sara explained she thinks it’s important to speak out as a mother of a son with autism.
Representatives from the Global Village School, which provides an enriched education to teenage girls whose formal education has been interrupted by war and refugee camp experiences, described the day that StoryCorps recorded at their school.
Laura Murvartain, who came to the U.S. from Mexico as child explained that she recorded her story to honor her parents. She feels that her success is really her parents’ success.
Sara Totonchi brought her parents, Emil and Louise to StoryCorps. Emil is from Iraq and Louise is from Ireland. At first, neither of their parents were happy with them dating a foreigner. They told Sara how their families began to overcome their prejudices. At the event, Sara reminded us that these personal stories help humanize the issue of immigration.
You can watch a video of the event at Atlanta Forum Network. Thanks to everyone who came out to the Auburn Avenue Research Library for listening, and to our StoryCorps Alumni for sharing their experiences.