Every Step a Novel
"We appreciate we’re part of this community. And the same thing, you know the pilgrims who came to this country, who escaped religious persecution, or wanted to have something better for their lives, that’s the same thing that we wanted. And, we wanted to contribute. We wanted to give back. I think, religion shouldn’t divide us. Nationality shouldn’t divide us. We’re all American. This is all our America." –Aden Batar
America is a land of many peoples, most of whom descended from or are themselves immigrants. Some immigrants left their homes willing to seek opportunity in America, while others came as refugees fleeing difficulties and violence. Today, America is more diverse than ever before, and immigration is a controversial topic. In the media, refugees are often portrayed as nameless and faceless masses, but they are individuals, with individual histories, who have individual contributions to bring to America and the states where they now live.
This exhibit by Haden Griggs focuses on eight men who fled their homes in Somalia and now live around the Salt Lake area. They shared some of their stories in oral history interviews, around which this exhibit is built. In this exhibit, you will learn how their stories fit within the larger history of the Somalia diaspora, the history of refugees, the history of America, and the history of Utah.
Teachers and Researchers: To listen to or read the transcripts of the interviews, or for lesson plans, click here.