refugees | KCUR

refugees

Segment 1: History of deaf discrimination in the United States.

Members of the hearing-impaired community oft face unique challenges when living in America. We discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in the United States as well as milestones alongside the path to equal rights. Also, meet the local instructor who teaches deaf refugees their first language: American Sign Language.

Segment 1: Refugee of South Sudan performs here in the Metro.

Dominic Leek's home village in South Sudan was raided during the Second Sudanese Civil War. At the age of eight, he escaped Sudan and eventually found refuge in Kansas City. Hear Dominic's story and learn why he uses music to relay messages of peace to his home country.

Segment 2, beginning at 32:17: Memories of a Kansas City civil rights leader.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m. June 28 with a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Maria remembers the fear she felt last month at the moment she found out her son, daughter and 6-year-old grandson were planning on coming to the United States.

"They called me from the border," she said in Spanish. "I panicked because I know how dangerous that is."

GOOGLE

Segment 1: The mindset of asylum-seekers in Trump's America.

Sticking to his campaign promise of strictly enforcing the law at our southern border, President Trump's immigration policies resulted in thousands of migrant children being seperated from their parents. Though he ended that policy with an executive order last week, families crossing illegally are still being detained with children. Today, we heard a first-hand account of what it's like living in a family detention center.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Hundreds of people protested the separation of immigrant families at a rally Sunday afternoon at Kansas City's Mill Creek Park.

"This is my very, very first rally ever," Fabiola Cruz told the crowd.

The Villages, Inc. on Facebook

A Topeka shelter has been receiving children who were separated from their parents at the border for about two weeks, its executive director confirmed Friday.

The Topeka campus of The Villages, Inc. started accepting children who had entered the country without a parent or other relative last year. It’s been scaling up its capacity for migrant children since then, and can now house up to 50 of those kids.

Google

A Topeka shelter is housing children separated from their parents at the U.S. southern border.

The Villages, Inc. has a 50-year history of taking in troubled youth grappling with abuse, drug problems, or involvement in criminal activity, at its seven homes in Lawrence and Topeka.

It’s now taking in children in the custody of the U.S. government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, The Villages president Joseph Wittrock confirmed in a statement.

Segment 1: The echoes of Trump's "zero tolerance" policy in Kansas City.

The decision to enforce a "zero tolerance" immigration policy at the U.S. - Mexico border is being felt across the nation. Today, we learn how the repurcussions are affecting families here in Kansas City.

Ubah Kariye

With the instant and reliable nature of cell-phone photography, most people have little need for disposable cameras. The old-school tools proved perfect, however, for a group of refugees documenting their new lives in Kansas City.

A show of their photography opens Friday at the Kansas City Public Library, in an exhibition called "Indisposable: KC Cultures."

The photographers originally came from countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Syria. Many of them settled in Kansas City less than a year ago.

Channy Chhi Laux

Channy Chhi Laux is an American. She earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Nebraska and a master’s from the University of Santa Clara in California. Laux’s son is an Eagle Scout, and her daughter has nearly finished a doctorate at the University of Southern California.

Her list of American-sounding accomplishments is long, including working as an engineer in Silicon Valley for 30 years and starting a specialty foods company called Apsara.

Segment 1: Is the conversation around guns, schools and violence changing?

Teens in Florida have been galvanized to speak out about mass shootings at American schools. But what is happening here? Have our thoughts shifted about school shootings?

Ben Keubrich / Kansas News Service

A humanitarian group that helps refugees settle in western Kansas among plentiful slaughterhouse jobs is shutting down its office in the region amid changing rules that welcome fewer newcomers to the country and the state.

The International Rescue Committee, or IRC, says a falling number of refugees prompted the agency’s plans to shutter its Garden City office at the end of September.

Kansas took in 580 refugees in the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, compared to 914 the year before. IRC officials said they expect the drop-off to look even more dramatic this year.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

A Sudanese woman gathered her six grandchildren to explain the family’s 1996 escape to Ethiopia from war-torn Sudan. The children had not yet been born when a bomb hit the village and the grandmother and her own children fled.

The family literally ran night after night, sleeping in bushes during the day to escape fighters’ notice. In 1997, they reached Ethiopia and settled in a refugee camp where they lived until immigrating to the United States a year ago. An international agency assigned them to Kansas City.

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR 89.3

Travel bans and the promise to build a wall are among burgeoning changes in the United State's stance on immigrants. Now, a year after President Trump's inauguration, we sit down with refugees and immigrants in Kansas City to hear their current experiences and feelings in their new home.

But first, we meet the resident artist of Oak Park Mall who creates colorful sculptures out of cardboard.

Guests: 

Members of the hearing-impaired community often face unique, and sometimes difficult situations even when living in America. Today, we discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in this country and the milestones alongside the path to equal rights.

For a full transcript of that segment, click here.

Plus, the story behind the song, "Hold On," by Isaac Cates & Ordained.

Guests:

Alex Smith / KCUR

Maita thinks he was seven years old when he and his family were forced out of their home in Bhutan.

Starting in the late 1980s, the Himalayan country began driving out people who were ethnically Nepali. They fled across the mountains to Nepal, where they were settled in impoverished refugee camps.

“I didn’t even know Nepal. I didn’t know anything about it,” Maita explains using sign language. “We didn’t have any food. We didn’t have any shelter. We needed help cause we were starving.”

Phil Prater / Public Domain

Members of the hearing-impaired community often face unique, and sometimes difficult situations even when living in America. Today, we discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in this country and the milestones alongside the path to equal rights. For a full transcript of that show, click here.

Then, Charles Phoenix, a purveyor of Americana culture, shares what he finds fascinating about United States history, geography and folklore.

National Geographic Studios

The world is a complicated place full of important decisions and things beyond our control. Which way to vote on the KCI single-terminal ballot question? Will Amazon HQ2 come to the metro or not? Will they ever open all the lanes on I-435?

Amazon Studios and Participant Media

Galloping gargoyles, wicked witches and frightful fiends! If the haunts and terrors of an approaching All Hallow's Eve have you hiding under the sheets, be brave! Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics are here to treat you with a trick to ward off menacing ghouls and goblins. Let their recommendations help you plan your escape to an area theater featuring the best films now showing.

Steve Walker

Human Flow, PG-13

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

On Friday, July 21, Maria Wakondo, a refugee from the Congo, was held up at knifepoint while walking home to her apartment. The robber took her whole purse, including $600 from her just-cashed paycheck. 

She wasn’t hurt, but the incident highlights some of the reasons new refugees can be vulnerable to crime.

Wakondo and her family recently moved to a new brick house in Kansas City's Historic Northeast.

Last week, Amazon announced that it's looking for a new city for its second headquarters. Could KC be that city? And do we want to be the kind of city that Amazon would make us?

Then: wildfires out west, tropical storms and floods. We hear from people who have personal connections to climate devastation in Florida and Texas.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

For centuries, refugees from all over the world have taken to the seas to escape violence and persecution in their homelands. Today, the author of a children's book published this year recounts just a few of their stories. Then, we speak to the director and producer of a new film about Gertrude Bell, who's been called the most powerful woman in the British Empire during World War I.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Julián Zugazagoitia runs a classic Kansas City institution, but his own story is international. His grandparents fled fascism in Europe, and he grew up in Mexico as the son of a renowned actress. Hear more of his story.

Guest:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Sunday afternoon, refugees, volunteers and community members gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Ahmad al-Abboud and his family's arrival in Kansas City. They were the first Syrian family to be resettled in the United States as part of the 2016 refugee "surge" under the Obama administration.

Daphne Matziaraki

This weekend is your last chance to see this year's Academy Award-nominated movies before the prizes are given out on Sunday evening, and Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics recommend you start with the shorts. In case your Oscar-fatigue is already setting in, there's a zombie flick for the thinking man mixed into the bunch, and an animated film (that's not for just kids) from a celebrated Japanese company, Studio Ghibli.

Courtesy Pedro Lasch

Pedro Lasch’s artwork challenges familiar ideas of identity and belonging, of which he has first-hand knowledge. Lasch – a citizen of Mexico, Austria and Germany – became a United States citizen on Inauguration Day this year. His was the last round of naturalization ceremonies in the Obama presidency.

Lasch, a visual artist from Mexico City and professor at Duke University, titled his series “Abstract Nationalism & National Abstraction.” The work employs a fusion of flags and national anthems from around the world.

Isra Mohamud, 18, is a member of Fort Morgan Colorado's small East African community.
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the special series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

The bell signals the start of second period. A trio of young women take seats in English class, their attention quickly drifting outside the walls of the high school in Fort Morgan, Colorado, eager to talk about what they’re working toward.

“I want to become an FBI [agent],” says freshman Mariam Mohammed. “It’s my dream.”

Updated 10:40 a.m., February 7th.

Just Monday morning, The Della Lamb Community Service Agency learned a family of nine scheduled to be resettled in Kansas City last week will now arrive on Wednesday.

The news comes after a federal judge in Washington rescinded President Trump’s travel ban on incoming refugees last Friday night.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City metro-area residents continue to voice opposition to the Trump Administration's executive orders on immigration. The latest was a candlelight vigil Sunday afternoon in Overland Park.

Sofia Khan started planning the vigil last weekend, after an order temporarily barring refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries was issued.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Buried within the president’s executive order that, among other things, suspends the U.S. refugee program, there’s a provision that’s garnered little attention.

Down pretty far in Section 5 are a few lines that basically direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to see if state and local jurisdiction should be more involved in resettling refugees.

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