Refugee resettlement and the journey toward it is an experience largely misunderstood in the US. With this podcast we seek to improve our listeners' cultural competence through the personal stories from refugees and the innovative organizations and programs serving them.
Episode 12 Keep Going-Harriet Tubman on her 200th Birthday
In this March 2022 episode we celebrate the life of Harriet Tubman during the month of her 200th birthday. Tubman was, of course, one of the most prominent “conductors” on the Underground Railroad and a woman who self-emancipated from the bondage of slavery. But she was also the first American woman to lead a major military operation in wartime (as a volunteer), a nurse/healer, and recruited black soldiers for the Union war effort. She led humanitarian efforts to bring freedom seekers health services at Fort Monroe. These African Americans were among the Civil War's refugees who found themselves at a site known as "Freedom's Fortress." We hear the voices of Harriet Tubman through Pauletta Jackson and Frederick Douglass through Isaac Points. Writer: Janice Pugh. Producers: Vincent Hostak and Janice Pugh. With thanks to our additional Producer: Susan Billotte.
Episode 11_International Underground Railroad Month
In 2019 the National Park Service created a recognition of the timeless significance of the Underground Railroad. It coincides with the month of September when notable abolitionists self-emancipation. We’re proud to be associated with a campaign to add Colorado to the now 12 US states with an official proclamation naming September International Underground Railroad. Guest Roger and Susan Billotte, describe the process of bring the commemoration to the Governor’s office with sponsorship from the oldest predominantly African American Church in the Rocky Mountain Region. Part of Crossings-Refugees’ group of episodes exploring the international abolitionist movement, the Underground Railroad and Civil Wartime Union refugee camps. See the proclamation at: https://crossingstherefugeeexperienceinamerica.wordpress.com
Episode 10_Exploring Juneteenth with Isaac Points
In this episode we visit with Isaac Points who was intrinsic to the long running Five Points Juneteenth Celebration in Denver. One of the largest in the country, this celebration was previously centered in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. The area is rich in African American cultural history but was also a community historically victimized by Redlining practices. Isaac shares his experience growing up in the community, helping to establish the celebration, and his reflections on Abolitionist movements framed as a refugee migration within our own country.
This episode also describes our coming series of episodes on Abolitionist movements and the Underground Railroad- seen through the lens of historic refugee and resettlement efforts. We will also look at little known Union Refugee Camps, where escaped slaves seeking refuge were labeled “contraband,” as referenced in Zora Neale Hurston’s recently published Barracoon. For now, we begin in 1865 as seen through celebrations in the 21stcentury.
Episode 9_Songs of Migration in Belgium
In late December 2020 we interviewed Marieke Slovin Lewis and Sarah Reader Harris who spoke about their project lifting the stories of refugees and asylees into songs. Leveraging Sarah’s experience as a poet/author, Marieke’s musical training and foundations in participative storytelling, they met weekly with residents at Belgium’s largest refugee arrival center, Le Petit-Château. Prior to the pandemic, on Monday afternoons, a courtyard of the castle-like structure along the Canal de Bruxelles was filled with music and singing in as many as ten languages. Marieke and Sarah recount a 3+ year project as poet-songwriters in residence, a journey to nurture the voices and stories of refugees—from Story to Song.
Episode 8-Harvesting Hope in Aurora Colorado
Project Worthmore is a refugee service organization with a unique collective approach to feeding newcomers, providing educational services, community navigation, and employment on an urban farm and within a dental wellness operation. We visited with Co-Founder and Executive Director Frank Anello during the third week of a staged reopening. We tour the fields and meet some of the skilled farmers planting, harvesting and providing fresh food through a food share program.
Episode 7_RefuSHE: Lives and Fashion Reimagined
We are excited add our seventh episode featuring Kenya/Chicago based organization RefuSHE. We look at their mission to provide a supportive community for extremely vulnerable girls and women in Africa through holistic programs to help these women learn, grow and become leaders. We recorded our interview with Executive Director Geoffrey Thige during the week of their event Fashion Challenge: Reimagined event. The 3-day fashion challenge celebrates young women who have been part of the Artisan Collective, a program fostering leadership and business skills through fabric production