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Boston immigrants unpack 2020 in January storytelling event

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Immigrant Advancement

Immigrant storytellers will share their personal stories and reflect on 2020 in an event on January 14.

While 2020 challenged everyone, immigrants and refugees have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. On January 14, 2021, the City of Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) and the International Institute of New England (IINE) will host a free virtual performance of "Suitcase Stories: Boston Immigrants Unpack 2020". During the program, Boston immigrants will share poignant, personal accounts from 2020 and their hopes for the new year.

  • What: Suitcase Stories: Boston Immigrants Unpack 2020
  • When: January 14, 2021, from 7 - 8:15 p.m.
  • Where: Zoom and Facebook Live

“Even though we can’t be together in person as much as we’d like, we’re still finding ways to connect,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “There’s something very powerful about storytelling. Through sharing stories we get to know each other better, and in Boston, community is everything.”

“For years to come people will tell their stories of 2020. It’s especially important to hear from immigrants and refugees who have been on the front lines to gain a greater appreciation of our shared experiences as neighbors and to understand situations unique to immigrant communities,” said MOIA Director Yusufi Vali. 

The event will feature storytellers from countries including Brazil, Haiti, Iran, and Senegal. Expected tellers include: Maedeh Marzoughi Ardekani from Boston Medical Center, Miriam Morales, co-owner of Recreo Coffee & Roasterie; and Natalícia Tracy, Executive Director of the Brazilian Worker Center.

“The pandemic is only one of many topics from the past year, said creator and director of Suitcase Stories Cheryl Hamilton. “The show will also feature wonderful moments from new additions to families and acts of kindness within communities.”

"Suitcase Stories: Boston Immigrants Unpack 2020" is on January 14, 2021, from 7 - 8:15 p.m. The event is free and those who wish to attend live on Zoom need to sign up online. The event will also be livestreamed on MOIA’s Facebook page

About the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement

The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) strives to strengthen the ability of immigrants to fully and equitably participate in economic, civic, social, and cultural life in Boston. MOIA also promotes the recognition and public understanding of the contributions of immigrants to the City.

About The International Institute of New England/Suitcase Stories

Suitcase Stories is a signature program of the International Institute of New England (IINE). The International Institute of New England (IINE) has been serving immigrants and refugees since 1918. More than hundred years later, the nonprofit organization now operates resettlement, education, job training, and legal services programs in Boston and Lowell, MA, and Manchester, NH for nearly 2,000 refugees and immigrants from 70 countries.

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