PROGRAM: Migration Stories

Presented by:
Kansas Humanities Council
National Partner: NEH Local Partner: Colleges and Universities Subject: African American/Black, Cross-Cultural Understanding, History, Indigenous Peoples, K-12 Education, Latinos, Other Audience: All, Children and Families, Rural Communities, Young Adult, Youth/Teen

To help community members learn more about each other as demographics change, the humanities council has launched this storytelling program. Migration Stories: Africans in Midwestern Communities, a project of the Kansas African Studies Center at the University of Kansas, highlights the value of stories for communities facing shifting demographics due to migration. The NEH supports this project via a grant.

Program opportunities:

SPEAKERS BUREAUAfrican Refugee Stories – and Silence – in Kansas (presented by Marwa Ghazali)

The Bantu people of Somalia are an ethnic minority who were forced to leave their lands during the Somali Civil War. In 1999, the U.S. State Department made it a priority to resettle these refugees in America. Today, many Somali Bantu call Kansas City home… This presentation explores the struggles of Somali Bantu to “live again” and to redefine themselves collectively in the aftermath of violence, exclusion, and resettlement.

TALK Book Discussion Series – African Experiences of Migration

What do we know about the experiences of recent African migrants who have come to call the U.S. home? This series explores some of the fault lines between being African and being American. The five books in this series address newcomers’ difficulties in adjusting to American life after enduring traumatic experiences in their home countries.

Film Discussion Welcome to Shelbyville – A small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt grapples with rapidly changing demographics in this hour-long documentary. Longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.

Click to learn more about the opportunities the council can offer in particular communities.