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Speak Up/Speak Out

Speak Up/Speak Out

By Youth Advocates for Immigrants & Refugees
Youth Advocates for Immigrants & Refugees is a group of highly-motivated high school students who have united to build bridges of cross-cultural understanding through art, activism, and storytelling. We at YAIR recognize that the future lies with youth, and that is why it is crucial to foster a sense of belonging and understanding within multicultural communities. The Speak Up/Speak Out podcast series is a platform for immigrant and refugee youth to share their stories, subsequently fostering intercultural connections and empathetic exchange throughout the Portland-metropolitan community. We hope to combat misconceptions of immigrants and refugees, build trust among disparate communities, and highlight the power of storytelling.
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Genesis' Story, S3E5
Genesis Mendez-Garcia, a student at St. Mary’s Academy, a musician and photographer, reflects on her experience moving from Honduras at age five, navigating the language barrier and a new home environment. She talks about family experiences in Honduras, ESL learning, and her goals, which include developing a cultural connections club at her school.
February 20, 2022
Maéline's Story, S3E4
Maéline Bringuier, a sophomore at St. Mary’s Academy, reflects on her experiences of finding a new community and adjusting to school life in the U.S. after leaving France at age 7. Listen as Maéline shares her pandemic experiences, compares living in the U.S. and France, and discusses her future aspirations.
February 20, 2022
Shivi's Story, S3E3
Shivi Dua, a student at Barnard College from Jersey City, recounts the cultural changes she experienced moving from New Delhi, India to New York City. Listen as she reflects on how current events have affected her and her family, how her family dynamic has shifted since moving to the U.S, and how her early experiences in New York City compared to those in India.
February 20, 2022
Jospin and Japhety's Stories: Part Two, S3E2
Jospin and Japhety continue to share their experiences with the Black Lives Matter movement in Portland, the role of the pandemic in solidifying their family dynamics, and the development of their clothing brand, Bproud, as college students.
February 20, 2022
Jospin and Japhety: Part One, S3E1
Jospin and Japhety, cousins and undergraduate students at Portland State University, share stories about their experiences moving from a Tanzanian refugee camp to the Portland Metro Area. They reflect on how their identities as Black immigrant youth have impacted their experiences in school, in their neighborhoods, and with their siblings and parents.
February 20, 2022
Bahar's Story, S2E4
Bahar Madani, a high school junior at Oregon Islamic Academy, shares stories of living in Portland as an Iranain immigrant. Listen to Bahar reflect on her childhood in Iran, adapting to the rainy Portland weather, youth advocacy efforts, and aspirations for the future.
March 07, 2021
Sahlan's Story pt. 2, S2E3
Sahlan Farah, now a sophomore at Portland State University, returns to Speak Up/Speak Out to discuss how being the first in her family to go to college has impacted her as well as how both college and home life drastically shifted during the spread of COVID-19. Later on, she shares her reactions and emotions surrounding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
March 07, 2021
Bethy's Story, S2E2
Bethy Temelso, a freshman at Portland State University, shares powerful and moving stories about her experience growing up under a dictatorship in Eritrea, living in Sudan, overcoming the language barrier, and living under different systems of law enforcement.
March 07, 2021
Tsiyon's Story, S2E1
Tsiyon Geremew, a high school senior, shares stories of growing up in Portland, Oregon as an Ethiopian immigrant. Listen as Tsiyon reflects on her experiences of finding community, acting as a role model for her younger sister, and re-connecting with family during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 07, 2021
Intro to Speak Up/Speak Out, S1E1
In this compelling introduction to their pilot podcast season, the founders of Youth Advocates for Immigrants & Refugees reflect on their experiences as leaders, discuss the power of stories, and introduce their four immigrant/refugee interviewees.
July 30, 2020
Belise's Story: Speak Up/Speak Out, S1E2
Belise Nishimwe shares stories of growing up in Portland as a Tanzanian refugee and daughter of immigrants. Listen to her reflect on generational and cultural differences, academic challenges, the language barrier, and combating social injustices.
July 29, 2020
Sahlan's Story: Speak Up/Speak Out, S1E3
Sahlan Farrah, a graduate of Reynolds High School, reflects on her experience as a Somali immigrant. Listen as she recounts stories from her life in Kenya, overcoming gender stigma in her community, and encountering racism in the classroom.
July 29, 2020
Farah's Story: Speak Up/Speak Out, S1E4
Farah H. narrates her experience as an immigrant by juxtaposing life in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the U.S. Listen as she recounts painful anecdotes of xenophobia and misogyny, as well as moments of community-building and cross-cultural bonding.
July 29, 2020
Faiza's Story: Speak Up/Speak Out, S1E5
Faiza Jama, university student and I Am M.O.R.E. board member, tells her story as a Somali immigrant. She recounts stories of cultural barriers inside and outside the classroom, a funny anecdote involving an escalator (listen to find out!), finding a voice to advocate for herself, and forging new friendships.
July 29, 2020