v25-2 Many Stories One Community

Vol. XXV No. 2 - SUMMER 2014

EHS is embarking on an exciting new initiative which seeks to collect the oral histories of Edgewater immigrants and refugees: The Immigration Oral History Project. Every resident of Edgewater has a unique “story” to tell and EHS is determined to capture as many of these stories as possible. Edgewater is possibly the most diverse community in Chicago and has been the “landing place” of peoples from an astounding number of countries of origin. Over the years the demographics have changed, but Edgewater still remains a community where at least 1 out of 4 residents claims immigrant status.

Partnering with the Adler School of Professional Psychology in a Community Service Practicum and with DePaul students through a Public History course, EHS is using the modern technology of digital tablets to “capture” the varied oral histories of immigrants. Some people have lived in Edgewater for many years; others are recently arrived. Some were “pulled” here for opportunities not available in their countries of origin; others were “pushed” out of their home countries due to political upheavals. Wherever they came from or whatever their reasons, Edgewater has embraced its newcomers, seeking to build a vibrant community where all are welcome and where all may thrive.

We welcome all Edgewater immigrants who wish to share their stories with us. It is both challenging and exciting to try to reach as many people as possible from the countries that have made Edgewater so diverse and special. In fact, many of our oral histories have come from just one building, which is one of the most diverse locations in the city. But, the idea is not to show the diversity of one building; it is to collect oral histories that reflect the broad spectrum of the entire Edgewater Immigrant/ refugee experience. These stories will become part of our permanent oral history collection and may be included in a future Exhibit and Program, accompanied by statistics from the Census.

Do you know a neighbor or friend who would enjoy having their unique story told? If you are an immigrant/ refugee who resides in Edgewater, or if you know of someone who may be interested in participating, or if you simply want more information about the Immigrant Oral History Project, please contact Betty Mayian, either by phone or by email.

We welcome the participation of anyone living in Edgewater. This is a list of the countries of origin of our interviews so far who was born in another country.

Albania
Argentina
Austria
Bosnia
Canada
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Ghana
India
Ireland
Japan
Kenya
Mexico
Montenegro
Nigeria
Palestine
Romania
Russia
Scotland
Serbia
South Africa
Syria
Taiwan
Thailand
Tunisia