Statistics do not tell the story of immigration. Immigrants do. 

Stories of immigrants are part of our contemporary global history. Yet, in the context of mass migration, many voices are lost. By sharing our stories, we are trying to make sure voices of immigrants are preserved. 

Tell your story!  


Photography courtesy of Ty Wright.

 

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BITA BELL

“ On Board(hers) has been a community that I am the most welcomed and the most myself.

My experiences as an immigrant is shared and understood in an open and diverse environment.

It has been a healing process to embody and verbalize my traumas.

Through On Board(hers) I am empowered to speak truth to power and create space and encourage others to do the same.

As a professional dance artist, being involved with On Board(hers) has fueled my passion for movement and has given me a greater purpose for my career in the performing arts. “

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LUCILLE TOTH

“I created On Board(hers) on the idea that I wanted to collect testimonies and gestures that would embody unique experiences of migration. There is a lost set of archives right now because of the mass displacement and because nobody is recording those voices.”

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“On Board(hers) opened up a door to reconnect with my immigrant self.

I have lived half of my life in the United States now; I have a family here; I have built my professional career in the US. I have mostly ignored the ways and times in which I felt like an outsider to American culture; I have taken the scrutiny at border crossings and the intense paperwork trail of an immigrant as a given of my life. Connecting with other immigrant women through movement and shared experience has allowed me to reconnect with my immigrant self at a deep tissue level. As a group, our deep connection through knowing (our shared immigrant experience) is also one that sets the stage for fewer language barriers and a more intimate connection through the body. The movements, improvised, spontaneous, and rehearsed, as well as the collaborative nature of our performances are a direct testament of that deep connection and shared experience.”

AN IMMIGRANT

by Harjyot Singh

 

They say I don't belong yet I breathe the same air

They say I don't belong yet I share the same despair 
They say I don't belong yet I walk on the same land
They say I don't belong yet I fold each hand 

To show you that I am only human after all
To show you that I am a woman of color on your side of the wall
To show you that this heart has survived past each and every fall
To show you that I will never give up even if I risk it all

They say I am not the same 
They say I am a pain, a torn, a savage, and different in every way
They say I should change my name, my lack of understanding, my accent, and my fate

How can I ever since we decided to hop on a plane, travel across the endless oceans and ubiquitous plains
How can I ever since English has been rooted deeply inside these veins
How can I ever since America has become my hometown, an entangled web, perhaps an intoxicating, ongoing campaign.

They say I should be someone, someone similar to their societal ways
They say I should behave like them perhaps be more upright rather than a dancer with her own wave 
They say I should walk their walk, talk their talk. 
They say I should be them, someone who I am not at all. 
I say, I am who I am and I am first and foremost an immigrant. 

An immigrant with an accent
An immigrant with tragic pain
An immigrant who is human, a human full of happiness and sorrow within each half of this human axial plane 
An immigrant ingrained with suffering, discrimination, and limited rights 
Yet an immigrant with a purpose, a dream, and eyes full of unseen opportunities and delight

An immigrant who has yet to set foot on adventurous, untraveled lanes.
An immigrant who is full of tears, who seeks refuge in your heart, this universe, and this planet full of hope and faith

An immigrant who is waiting, waiting for her voice, her movement, and her presence to be recognized and accepted by all and to finally embrace the treasure, the treasure of peace within herself, within the only walls, the secluded walls of the heart. 

-H.S

 
 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN SHARING YOUR STORY WITH THE COMMUNITY

 
 

Your story is powerful and you deserve to be heard.



We want to highlight your stories of immigration. It is important for the general public to understand the stories of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, of documented and undocumented immigrants, in an effort to build empathy and understanding of our common humanity.

If you'd like to share your story, please fill out the form below. You are part of our community. YOUR story might not be OUR story, but we will listen to it and will help you carry it. 


Submit your story today!

 

 
 
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