WOMEN JOURNEY TO AMERICA

March 06, 2018 at 7:15 pm

A new exhibition program “Real People. Real Lives. Women Immigrants of New York,” on view at the Queens Museum, features the unique perspectives of 16 young women, their journey to America and life in New York City. The project is a unique nonprofit-artist partnership between New Women New Yorkers and Dru Blumensheid aka BUMESI. Photograph BUMESI, Arielle Kandell, founder and CEO of New Women New Yorkers and members of the organization, join us to introduce you to the women immigrants of New York.

Aired on March 6, 2018. 

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>>> I WANTED TO HAVE LIKE A
RIGHT WING PRESIDENT WAS
ELECTED, IT WAS A TSUNAMI THAT
YEAR.
MY BEST FRIEND CARLOS PASSED
AWAY.
>> THIS WOMAN'S EXPERIENCE
LEAVING CHILE FOR THE UNITED
STATES IS JUST ONE OF THE
EXPERIENCES HEARD IN THIS
EXHIBIT, REAL PEOPLE, REAL
WOMEN, REAL LIVES OF NEW YORK.
A NONPROFIT THAT HELPS IMM
IMMIGRANTS NAVIGATE RULES AND
POLICIES TO CONNECT WITH THE
COMMUNITY.
THE EXHIBIT FEATURES PHOTOGRAPHS
OF 16 YOUNG FEMALE IMMIGRANTS.
THESE WOMEN SHARE THEIR
IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCES AS WELL
IN AUDIO RECORDINGS WHICH ARE
ALSO AVAILABLE TO VISITORS.
SHE SPOKE WITH US DURING THE
EXHIBIT'S OPENING RECEPTION AT
THE QUEEN'S MUSEUM.
>> WE WANT TO GO BEYOND THE
FACTS AND NUMBERS THAT WE HEAR
ABOUT IMMIGRANTS AND ABOUT WOMEN
AND REALLY SHOW A GLIMPSE OF THE
LIFE OF THESE WOMEN THAT WE
SERVE AND WHO COME FROM VARIOUS
DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS AND WHO HAVE
VERY DIVERSE STORIES AND HOPES
AND DREAMS.
>> KENDALL SAYS TELLING THIS
STORY IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IN
THE CONTEXT OF THE CURRENT
POLITICAL CLIMATE WHERE
IMMIGRATION IS A HOT BUTTON
ISSUE.
AS A KID, SHE HEARD IMMIGRATION
STORIES ABOUT HER GRANDPARENTS.
JEWS LIVING IN EASTERN EUROPE
WHO CAME TO THE U.S. JUST BEFORE
THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
>> THEN AS I GREW UP, I
UNDERSTOOD A LITTLE BIT BETTER
WHAT THESE STORIES REALLY MEANT
AND WHAT WERE THEIR HARDSHIPS OF
REALLY BUILDING A NEW LIFE IN A
NEW PLACE.
>> KENDALL WANTED TO HELP OTHERS
IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS, SO NEW
WOMEN NEW YORKERS WAS BORN.
YOUNG WOMEN NEW TO THE U.S. LIKE
KENDALL'S GRANDPARENTS ONCE WERE
FIND SUPPORT THROUGH HER
ORGANIZATION.
MONSARAT VARGAS TELLS HER STORY.
>> IT WILL REMIND US TO LOOK
INTO EACH OTHER'S EYES AND FIND
BEAUTY AND RECOGNIZE STRENGTH
AND ANGER AND ISOLATION.
>> WE ARE ALL SO POWERFUL, BUT
AT THE SAME TIME, I'M AFRAID OF
LITTLE THINGS, LIKE SENDING AN
EMAIL.
BECAUSE I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT
MY ENGLISH IS PROFESSIONAL.
IT'S VERY STRANGE AND VERY
POWERFUL TO FEEL YOU'RE IN KIND
OF LIMBO AND FEELING VERY
VULNERABLE.
>> DREW BLOOMENSHINE THE WOMAN
BEHIND THE PHOTOGRAPH SAYS SHE
DOESN'T THINK THESE WOMEN ARE AS
STRONG AS THEY ARE.
>> THEY DON'T REALLY KNOW.
THEY DON'T REALLY KNOW THEY'RE
BRAVE.
THEY KNOW AFTER THE SHOW, AND
THAT'S SOMETHING I THINK IS THE
SPECIAL PART.
>> SHE CREATED A MURAL FOR
PEOPLE, BORN HERE, MOVED HERE OR
JUST VISITING TO WRITE MESSAGES
OF SUPPORT AS WELL.
UPLIFT EACH OTHER ALWAYS, ONE
SAYS.
IT THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR
STORY OF HOPE AND COURAGE.
VERY INSPIRING.
HAVING SEEN THE EXHIBIT BEFORE,
ANNA IS STILL OVERJOYED AS SHE
SEES THE SPACE.
SHE FEELS THAT IT MIGHT PROVIDE
PEOPLE WITH HOPE.
>> WHEN YOU HEAR OTHER PEOPLE'S
STORIES, YOU SEE THAT THEY'RE
HUMAN BEINGS, THEY HAVE
FAMILIES, THEY HAVE LIVES, THEY
HAVE DIFFERENT REASONS FOR GOING
HERE AND IT WOULDN'T BE
OVERSIMPLIFIED INTO A VISA
STATUS.
>> IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHECK
OUT REAL PEOPLE REAL LIVES, THE
EXHIBIT WILL BE FEATURED AT THE
QUEENS MUSEUM AND AT NEW YORK'S
CENTER FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION.
I'M MATTIE ORTON FOR
"METROFOCUS."