Immigrant Youth Voices Celebrated

The Asian Center’s Untold Migrant Stories program empowers immigrant and refugee youth to share their stories with the community. Students grow in confidence and artistic ability as they learn how to craft their stories through digital mediums.

At the recent Untold Migrant Stories Showcase, students shared about struggle, identity, and culture.

“Each student’s experience is so distinct. When youth are in charge of telling their own story the result is truly powerful!” said Sabrina Salrin, the Asian Center’s Youth Program Coordinator.

Betty, a junior at UNL originally from Ethiopia, shared about the importance of family connection. She described a simple coffee ceremony that her family practices together daily.

Reem comes from Sudan and is a sophomore at UNL. She talked about the struggle of building a life in Nebraska while extended family back in Sudan are in constant peril. Reem has found solace and joy leaning into the Sudanese community in Lincoln.

A special video project by Eh Ta Taw, a senior at Lincoln High, provided positive commentary in response to hurtful words. In just two minutes, Eh Ta Taw encourages acceptance and resilience in his distinct youth voice.

The showcase concluded with a diverse and energetic group of students from Lefler Middle School presenting their story together. The group included students from three different countries, representing vastly different cultures, religions, and experiences. They shared about their various cultures and emphasized the importance of food as a way to connect both within and across communities.

The evening might best be summarized with this quote from Eh Ta Taw’s video. “Immigrants face many challenges including discrimination, language barriers, and cultural differences. But they also bring unique perspectives, skills, and experiences that improve our communities. Let’s embrace diversity and support immigrants on their journey to a better life!” – Eh Ta Taw, Karen Refugee and Lincoln High Senior

Huge thanks to our community partners Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Humanities Nebraska, and Lincoln Arts Council for helping to make this program possible!