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Madison Public Library joins local partners in celebrating the diversity of Madison with a series of programs and displays highlighting the experiences of students from Madison and Milwaukee, featured in the forthcoming book Green Card Voices: Immigration Stories from Madison and Milwaukee High Schools

This book and traveling exhibit features 13 first-person narratives from students at James Madison Memorial High School, all of whom arrived in the United States as immigrants or refugees.

In the spring of 2018, James Madison Memorial High School in Madison embarked on an all school read of Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a Minneapolis High School. Over 2,000 students read immigration stories written by authors of their own age, and were introduced to the authentic and diverse stories of Minneapolis immigrants from thirteen countries. The book inspired a more empathetic understanding of immigrants, and showcased the need for a similar publication featuring student immigrants from Wisconsin. As Green Card Voices planned the production of a book featuring stories from a Madison high school, they were contacted by the College Possible Milwaukee team, who hoped to collaborate and highlight the stories of immigrant students at Milwaukee high schools. Through this connection, the idea of a book featuring student immigrants from both cities was developed.

The finished book will be the fifth in the Green Card Youth Voices series, which works to generate awareness about the immigrant experience. The previous titles (Minneapolis, St. Paul, Atlanta, and Fargo) each feature 30 immigrant youth originally from 35 different countries. Some fled xenophobia, others came to be reunited with family, and all left behind loved ones. These stories show the tremendous resiliency, courage, and unabashed hope these young people maintain as they imagine their futures in this new country.
September events and displays include:

Green Card Voices Madison exhibit
September 2-10, all open hours - Lakeview Library, 2845 Sherman Ave.
September 11-21, all open hours - Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd.
September 23-27, during school hours - Memorial High School, 201 S. Gammon Rd.

“This Is Home” Documentary Screening
Wednesday, Sep 11, 6:30-8:30pm – Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd.
Monday, Sep 16, 5:30-7:30pm – Lakeview Library, 2845 Sherman Ave.
“This is Home" (2018) is an intimate portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in America and struggling to find their footing. With only eight months of help from the International Rescue Committee to become self-sufficient, they must forge ahead to rebuild their lives in a new home: Baltimore, Maryland. They attend cultural orientation classes and job training sessions where they must "learn America" -- everything from how to take public transportation to negotiating new gender roles. The documentary is 91 minutes long, with a brief, optional discussion following the showing.

Let’s Talk About It: Immigration, Migration, and Our Southern Border
Saturday, Sep 14, 9:30-11:00am – Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd.
The treatment of immigrants at the border and across this country has been beyond horrific and unconscionable. It can be overwhelming for adults to comprehend, let alone for children. Join facilitators from Families for Justice of Dane County for a multi-generational workshop that will include discussion, learning, and activities for adults and children. It is critical for us to come together in our families and in our community so we can better defend the rights and humanity of immigrants and asylum seekers. Adults will learn together for the first hour, and then kids will be invited to join in. Register online or at 608-266-6385. Childcare may be available--please call Abigail at 608-266-6385 to inquire. 

Using Storytelling as a Tool to Educate, Empower, and Build Empathy
Wednesday, September 18, 6:00-8:00pm - Madison College, 1701 Wright St.
It is more important than ever to confront individual bias and build empathy so that all people can contribute to our communities and thrive. First-person storytelling facilitates understanding and empathy more effectively than mere facts alone. In this session, you’ll learn about the innovative and unconventional storytelling work of Green Card Voices (GCV), a nonprofit that records and shares the stories of immigrants. The presenters will include two of GCV’s own youth storytellers from the Madison / Milwaukee area and GCV’s Executive Director, Tea Rozman Clark. You will learn how effective storytelling educates and empowers both the teller and the audience, and you’ll leave with resources and ideas to incorporate storytelling into your own work. The session will offer the chance to listen to first-person immigrant narratives, engage in group discussions, and play the famous "Story Stitch" card game!
Register by September 16 at

Green Card Youth Voices Book Launch
Thursday, September 19, 6:30-8:30pm – UW Madison Education Building, Wisconsin Idea Room (Room 159), 1000 Bascom Hall
Celebrate the release of Green Card Voices: Immigration Stories from Madison and Milwaukee High Schools alongside its co-authors, as students from James Madison Memorial High School read their stories to an audience for the first time.  Meet & greet the authors, purchase books, and have books signed. 

Discover other related programming this fall at Madison Public Library including Immigrant Journeys exhibit, September 9-October 4 and Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) events.

All Green Card Voices Madison programming is supported by a variety of partners including Green Card Voices, Madison College, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Friends of Sequoya Library, Friends of Lakeview Library, Families for Justice of Dane County, Beyond the Page, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Madison Community Foundation.