Ten days ago, USCRI’s Detroit field office was contacted by Alana Murphy with a simple request. She was looking for partners to support a summer project that she has taken on called the Beautiful Crossing. Alana cares about the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and wants to spread awareness about the positive impact the program has had on our country and the refugees themselves. Alana spent the last few years working with refugees and migrants in different capacities and had the opportunity to intern with PRM in the past, and in 2016 she worked as an Employment Counselor with World Relief Chicago.
This summer, she and a friend are biking across the United States to raise awareness about USRAP. They started in New York and will bike over 4,500 miles to Portland, stopping in cities along the way to interview those who came to the U.S. as refugees.
USCRI Detroit supported Alana’s project last week by connecting her to two clients who were interested and willing to share their stories. Alana also interviewed USCRI Detroit Director Tawfik Alazem to learn about the work that the office is doing and highlight our efforts on her project website. Her plan is to complete interviews as well as photograph her participants and then create a digital archive displaying their portraits and interview responses state-by-state. Her project website will also include additional resources and information about USRAP.
Above all, the project hopes to humanize the refugee issue by reminding us that these once refugees are now our American neighbors: people living alongside us, wanting what’s best for their families and children. Secondly, it aims to empower those came to the United States as refugees to share their impressions and insights about our country and provide those who are curious about refugee resettlement policy with more information.
You can follow her along the way by following her Instagram @thebeautifulcrossing. For more information and to see the interviews that she’s completed so far, check out the Beautiful Crossing website here.