2015 Projects

Charlotte Awake of Charlotte, North Carolina — will develop and distribute narrative-driven infographics via social media, traditional media, and public display to tell the stories of different refugee families residing in local North Carolina communities and to provide data-driven infographics to the public.

Church World Service Greensboro Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Program — working closely with the Center for New North Carolinians, North Carolina African Services Coalition, and the City of Greensboro International Advisory Council’s Department of Human Relations—will develop and promote a Greensboro Annual Report on Refugee Communities. This report will serve as a tool to inform and engage Greensboro residents, city government officials, and other community stakeholders by highlighting the economic, social, and cultural contributions of refugees and their impact on the vitality of Greensboro. The report will be distributed throughout Greensboro as well as through online and social media channels, and a public event will be held to celebrate its release.

Project 658 will hold monthly networking and informational workshops in Charlotte, North Carolina for refugees and the community at large to create a more welcoming atmosphere for refugees. Each meeting will focus on specific topics including refugee resettlement, aid in providing services once refugees have arrived, and advocacy growth and awareness.

The Art Therapy Institute — in collaboration with the Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, Durham Public Schools, and Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools—will expand its already successful art therapy program for newcomers to schools participating in ESL classes. This project will help refugee adolescents tell their stories of hope and resiliency through visual and written narratives by providing art therapy groups in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools and the Durham Public Schools. The art work will be disseminated through social media and an end-of-year public art show will be catered by local refugee farmers.

The American Friends Service Organization will spark refugee youth activism around social justice issues by bringing together two already existing programs—the North Carolina Immigrant Rights Program and the North Carolina Economic Justice Program—to work on a project collaboratively. The result will be a digital storytelling project that allows young refugees and youth of different cultures to analyze and record their experiences through a human rights lens.

The Forced Migration Innovation Project — in collaboration with DN/Omega Productions, ROi, Refugee Services of Texas, the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities, and Refugee Voices—will work with resettlement agencies across Texas to identify refugees with powerful stories about livelihood, family, civil engagement, neighborliness and the value of diversity, sacrifice, and giving back. A series short video interviews with refugees will be created to help dispel broad misconceptions that currently exist about refugees in the United States. The interviews will become part of a larger story bank available via social media.

International Rescue Committee Dallas’ sub-office in Abilene, Texas will proactively reach out to the community of Midland, Texas in an effort to break down current barriers between native residents and the quickly-increasing refugee population. Midland is not a designated resettlement area, and therefore refugee access to services such as health care, education, and employment are currently limited. Advocacy and outreach by IRC Abilene will help expand access to services and acceptance.

Refugee Services of Texas’ Amarillo office will conduct an economic impact evaluation project to understand the varied benefits refugees offer the economy and community in Amarillo, Texas. Information that clearly synthesize refugees’ positive contributions to the local economy and community will be shared in a report made available to city officials, local businesses, public schools, and the community at large.