What everyone can learn from immigrants’ personal stories

Boston Globe Magazine   March 7, 2018



Cheryl Hamilton, co-director of Massmouth and director of partner engagement at the International Institute of New England, a refugee resettlement agency, launched Suitcase Stories, a traveling live performance series and social media campaign, in March 2017. Her goal is to offer opposing information about immigrants and refugees, contrary to the mostly negative national coverage of them.

Refugee sagas tend to be similar – the flight from the homeland with nothing and the arrival in the US. However, Hamilton says, “But with storytelling, you can focus on one moment [in that saga]. And people can relate to that.”

One of the tellers, Szifra Birke, says, “At movies, you never talk with your neighbors. At a storytelling show, you share a human experience.”


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