Written by Melissa Dalton-Bradford
This is how nonprofits work: You show up and lean on the strongest woman around. Meet that woman, Trisha Leimer, President of Their Story is Our Story. Our scrappy band of seven founding members (including @lizthayerart, @lindsaysilsby, @garrettgibbons, Twila Bird and Morgan Gibbons) conducted and documented dozens of hours of interviews with refugees in Greece and Germany over the summer, and those pieces are now being translated thanks to many of you volunteers.
Trisha and I are on the ground here in central Germany facilitating connections between refugees and locals, teaching German, and discovering on a daily basis stories among our refugee friends that we plan to bring to you.
Our artists are painting, editing photos, weaving together video footage, posting and reposting and putting all of this on our brand new TSOS website. Then there's the whole technical and legal backstage labor involved....it's huge, and it's happening.
This pic was taken by Ali, our Afghan friend whose resilience and good humor keeps us smiling.
The Emerald Project is a Utah-based organization that carefully designs dialogues to engage with non-Muslims to make Salt Lake Valley a more welcoming home to Muslims. As many of our refugee friends belong to the Muslim faith, we applaud opportunities that foster understanding and were pleased to support The Emerald Project’s 3rd annual “Slam the Islamophobia” event on February 15th.
Refugees often risk their lives crossing deserts, jungles, and oceans all in the search for shelter, freedom, or happiness. Yet, even once they’ve reached physical safety, mental mountains emerge that make daily life an uphill climb. At the November 2022 conference for the Utah Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education (USOPHE), presenters Shurooq Al Jewari and Sasha Sloan discussed mental health and inclusion, focusing on immigrants and refugees.