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Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices, a Poetry Project

Facilitator - Merna Ann Hecht

IPM has funded poet Merna Ann Hecht for the eighth year of the Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices, a Poetry Project. Many of the young people in the project at Foster High School in Tukwila, WA have experienced the trauma of forced migration and all have endured the losses that encompass leaving a homeland, a homeland often wracked by war and chaos. Enriched by community partnerships with other organizations in support of refugee and immigrants, the project has grown in its mission to create compassionate understandings of the refugee and immigrant experience. For 2019-20, Merna and project co-director and ELL teacher Carrie Stradley, created a new venture which resulted in a stunning collection of broadsides—self -portraits and visual poems—that show the deep humanity of each young person in this year’s project. Currently, a new partnership is underway with the Tukwila Food Innovation Network Spice Bridge Global Food Hall where the broadsides will be on exhibit well into 2021.

Chosen with careful thought in a zoom meeting, the project participants have titled their forthcoming book of broadsides: We Are the Future: Poems with A Voice for Peace. What Stories of Arrival has offered over these years is a primer on what could happen in the lives of not only refugee and immigrant youth, in the lives of DACA dreamers – but all young people in the world.

Power in Numbers




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