In early 2017, the federal government severely restricted the number of refugees allowed into this country. Two Lansing area activists and photographers, Jeremy Herliczek and Roxanne Frith invited me to join them in producing a social justice project to speak out in opposition to these restrictions. I accepted on the spot.
Refuge Lansing was a grassroots, community response to this climate of fear and intimidation facing immigrants and refugees in our political context of that time.
More than two dozen creative professionals volunteered to work with refugee families in Greater Lansing to share their stories.
Our mission was a call to action.
The exhibit and book were meant to encourage our community to continue supporting resettlement efforts through donations, volunteer work and advocacy.
Our goal was to celebrate everything refugees add to our community, and to create a sense of empathy, hope, understanding and welcome.
The traveling exhibit opened at the State Capitol Building in Lansing, MI on June 13, 2017. The event included a greeting by State Rep. Sam Singh in the Michigan House of Representatives Chamber in support of refugee resettlement. From there the traveling exhibit toured the state for 3.5 years, educating many urban and rural communities about the benefits of an inclusive and diverse community. We published a 50 page, full color book and raised over $30,000 in sales for local refugee resettling agencies.