Help Create a Welcoming Community
Watching the videos and thinking about how we can each do a better job of getting to know individuals for who they are, rather than what we may assume, is a great start to making our community more welcoming. If you want to help us spread the word about this project, consider helping in one or more of the following ways.
How to Get Involved
Use the videos to start a conversation with friends, family, or your children about appreciating cultural differences and avoiding stereotyping.
Consider volunteering to help one of the nonprofits assisting refugees get settled in Boise.
Share your favorite YSKM videos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use the hashtag #YouShouldKnowMe. For your post, consider:
- Finding something you have in common with the featured student. Perhaps share what you liked to do when you were their age to demonstrate how alike we all are.
- Sharing why you are thankful for diversity in our community.
- Posting a supportive message about the refugee resettlement program and pointing to the video as an example of the individuals who’ve become part of our community.
- Telling a story about a time when your preconceived notions about someone were wrong.
- Inviting your friends and followers to check out the YSKM page.
- Share the website and videos as part of a book club, faith group, or other social organization meeting you regularly attend where important issues are discussed.
Like and follow the Idaho Office for Refugees on Facebook and like/share our YSKM posts.
Invite (through social media or an email) your friends and family members to visit the YSKM website to hear the students' stories and share them with their networks.
Start a Conversation
You may wonder why we produced the YSKM videos and how you can talk about this project with your friends, family, and neighbors. Here are a few things to think about (and share) as you consider what you’ve seen and how you might communicate the importance of this project with those around you:
- Individuality makes societies strong. Our diversity allows us each to contribute to our collective culture and economy, enabling us to build on one another’s strengths.
- When we label people as refugees first, we can lose sight of the fact that they are individuals; each with their own story, life and work experiences, and perspectives. We risk missing out on what each person adds to our community.
- Despite how differently we may have experienced life, we can be surprised at how similar we are. Whether you grew up in the Congo, Afghanistan, or Idaho, you might have a love for music, art, or helping people. Unless we take the time to learn about our friends and neighbors as individuals, we may never find this common ground.
- “Refugee” is an immigration status, not a nationality. While each individual’s journey plausibly involved fear, sadness, and travelling great distances, this experience does not define anyone. That journey doesn’t tell us what a person cares about, what they enjoy, what they hope for the future, or what they value about their past. Only by taking the time to learn more about the individuals around us will we be able to see past our first impressions and assumptions.
- Americans value individuality, perseverance, and drive. Yet we’re quick to overlook these traits in refugees, who have risked everything to escape danger and build a better life for themselves and their families. Refugees come to our country with grateful hearts and determined minds.
- Welcoming refugees and empowering people to contribute to our communities will only make us stronger.