Imaginarte: Unaccompanied refugee minors tell their stories of belonging through photography
In the fall of 2017, a group of teenagers from Central America who are part of the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program at Ascentria Care Alliance in Worcester, Massachusetts, participated in a literacy through photography (LTP) project on the meaning of their life experiences as never-ending journeys of self-discovery and belonging. In collaboration with Assumption College students in my Spanish course, Rebellion and Reinvention in Mexico, the teenagers produced photographs of their present lives in Worcester as a way to answer questions of cultural reinvention, life meaning, and belonging. This LTP project, a community service learning component in my course, brought together twelve college students and seventeen teenage refugees between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. My students and the teenagers were able to establish meaningful connections in their weekly meetings throughout the semester. This particular group of teens represents thousands of unaccompanied migrant and...
Many thanks to all the teenagers who belong to the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program, and to the staff at Ascentria Care Alliance who participated in this project: Kristen Simmarano, Rebecca Petty, and LiSandra Rodríguez. Special thanks also to the Assumption College students, faculty, and staff who contributed to this project and exhibition, particularly Marissa Dakin, Joan O’Rourke and professors Mike Land and Lynn Simmons.
- Boal, A. 1985. Theater of the Oppressed. New York: Theater Communications Group.Google Scholar
- Campano, G., M.P. Ghizo, and B.J. Welch, eds. 2016. Partnering with Immigrant Communities: Action through Literacy. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Ewald, W., K. Hyde, and L. Lord. 2011. Literacy and Justice Through Photography: A Classroom Guide. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Flores, W. 1997. Citizens vs. Citizenry: Undocumented Immigrants and Latino Cultural Citizenship. In Latino Cultural Citizenship, ed. William Flores and Rina Benmayor, 255–277. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- Ghizo, M. P., A. Rusoja, and E. Schwab. 2016. Collective Advocacy in a Latino/a Family ESOL Class. In Partnering with Immigrant Communities: Action through Literacy, ed. Gerald Campano, María Paula Ghizo, and Bethany J. Welch, 54–65. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Nail, T. 2015. The Figure of the Migrant. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- powell, ja, and S. Menendian. 2016. The Problem of Othering: Towards Inclusiveness and Belonging. Othering and Belonging 1 (Spring): 14–40.Google Scholar
- Stoecker, R. 2016. Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar