By this time, we’ve all heard about the plights of refugees – troubles in their homelands, and their pilgrimages to far flung countries. We read about their stories all the time, but have we ever listened to the stories, as told by the refugees themselves?
On September 22, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM, Just Buffalo Literary Center (Words on the Streets initiative), along with Journey’s End Refugee Services, will host Words on the Street: Points of Departure at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. The event will be a mash-up of refugees, immigrants, and American born individuals telling their own stories as they relate to “Points of Departure.”
The event places an importance on the selfless act of story sharing. The narratives can be told via a number of oratory fashions, including poetry, short story, and song.
“When it comes to refugees and immigrants so often are their stories told for them, so often versions of themselves are politicized in the media to fulfill an agenda but the most powerful thing one can do is to give them voice and space to become the authors of their own narratives,” said Richmond Wills, Outreach Coordinator for Words on the Street. “And what better way to do so than the written and spoken word?”
There will be three doors setup outside of the library, through which people—whether they have been in America for three days, three years, three decades, or three generations—are invited to tell their stories of arrivals and departures through poetry, fiction, or story-telling.
“I believe that story telling is an incredibly powerful tool that can help create change,” said Michelle Holler, Office for New Americans Immigrant Community Navigator from Journey’s End. “My two greatest passions are writing poetry, and working with the refugee and immigrant community to help create a more inclusive Buffalo. I am very excited to work on a project that can bring these two things together.”
Words on the Street: Points of Departure
Free and open to the public
September 22, 2018
11 AM to 12:30 PM
Outside (weather permitting) at the downtown Central Library branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (1 Lafayette Square)