Project Spotlight

The Minnesota Council of Churches

The Minnesota Council of Churches is a cycle three TLC grantee recipient and will be traveling around the state to showcase a series of portraits and first-person narratives of refugees in Minnesota. The photo exhibit, “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” opened at the Blue Earth Historical Society in May. The project will include a traveling photo exhibit in Mankato and St. Cloud, public art installations, a multimedia web application, and a book of portraits and stories.

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Charlotte Awake

Charlotte Awake of Charlotte, North Carolina was one of TLC’s most successful grantees during cycle two. Working with a graphic designer, Charlotte Awake created eight narrative ­driven infographics to highlight the stories of local refugee families and provide data ­driven statistics on the benefits refugees bring to their communities. One infographic highlights Nuam Pi, who fled with her family from Burma due to religious persecution. Another includes an overview of refugee resettlement in North Carolina. Charlotte Awake’s project was so successful that they surpassed their goal of 10,000 social media hits by over 310,000. Based on their success, Charlotte Awake was asked to create a ‘how­to’ guide on social media to help other organizations achieve the same level of success. In TLC’s third year, we want to help Charlotte Awake will build on its success by funding the creation of additional infographics and helping train others on successful social media strategies.

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Forced Migration Institute

During the project’s second cycle, 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— created a series of short video interviews with refugees across Texas to help dispel broad misconceptions about refugees in the United States. The interviews have become part of a larger story bank available via social media, and are being used by a region of private schools in Texas as a teaching tool on welcome. This cycle, FMU will create additional videos.

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US Together, Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS), and World Relief Columbus

Three central Ohio refugee resettlement agencies‐‐US Together, Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS), and World Relief Columbus‐‐ led a multi‐year effort to gather data and produce a comprehensive report demonstrating the economic value refugees bring to Central Ohio. The report features analysis of over 351 interviews of refugee households that focused on employment, demographic, social, and economic data. It also highlights profiles of refugees living in the Central Ohio area. The report can be accessed here. US Together

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Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC)

The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) is a diverse group that brings together professionals, advocates and immigrant groups of different backgrounds to share information and resources, identify common problems, and advocate for solutions immigration and refugee issues. The TLC Project supported Pennsylvania’s first statewide “Immigrant and Refugee Rights Convening” in Harrisburg in March 2015. The event aimed to bring members of the immigrant and refugee communities together with representatives of grassroots organizations and advocates from across the state. The event featured training, networking, and coordinated outreach, education, and advocacy on refugee issues at both the state and federal levels. More than 125 immigrants, refugees, advocates, and allies from 25 counties and over 10 cities in Pennsylvania participated in the Convening. Feedback on the Convening was very positive, and participants appreciated the diversity of participants, the participatory approach, and the opportunity to find time to develop new connections. Following the conference, PICC organized an Advocacy Day in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to talk to state legislators about the contributions of refugee and immigrant communities, and advocates were able to utilize the training they received at the Convening.

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