We are all Immigrants

“Of course, we couldn’t all come over on the Mayflower. But I got here as soon as I could, and I never wanted to go back.”

Anton Cermak

We are America

“Speaking different tongues, we nevertheless meet here today as brothers…Henceforth we have one country, one hope, one destiny”

Justice Nathaniel Bennett

These are our Stories

“One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say,

You’re not as alone as you thought.”

John Steinbeck

Read a Story

Latest Stories

Ana-Maria M’Enesti

A Passion for Culture and Language

In the outskirts of Cluj-Napoca, Romania’s second most populous city nestled in the heart of Transylvania, there stands an unfinished house.

Minaski De

Surviving the Liberation

When Minaski De was born in 1958, the area where her Hindu family lived was called East Pakistan. Then came the bloody Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

Sankar Raman

Striking Universal Chords

Jan Porvas was only seven years old when he picked up the drum that would change his life. Surrounded by his friends and family at home, he was captivated by

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Featured Stories

Karen Weliky

Opportunity in Every Hurdle

Ng Lai Goon, eager to fit in with her American grade school peers, chose her American name, Sally, from an elementary school reading primer,  

Sankar Raman

Following Music to Freedom

It has always been music that has guided Ahmad Fanoos’ life. “My whole family liked music,” he explains. “And it was part of my life from a very early age.”

Sankar Raman

Finding Strength in a Complex Heritage

“Being 100% American means fully accepting your heritage — whatever it is,” Mitzi Loftus says, reflecting on her experience growing up in Oregon

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Live! Stories

Discovering My Story

Growing up close to his paternal grandparents in southern Oregon, Toby Asai Loftus was always intrigued by the other half of his family,

Shall We Dance Bollywood?

As a student in India, Prashant worked hard and finally achieved the American dream of a well-paying job in engineering and a career that made his parents proud.  

Food Feeds our Souls

Born in Tehran, Iran in 1978, during the Iranian revolution, Sara came to Portland with her family in 1986. As young teenagers,

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Latest Podcast Episodes

Jacqueline Pagano

The Immigrant Story Live Podcast II

Welcome to The Immigrant Story Live, where we feature stories from the stage. In each episode of this new series we weave together three stories that were originally

They Will be Free Soon

Veronika Levytska  and Ian Levytsky  grew up in Ukraine but dreamed of an easier life – away from the shadow of Russia – for themselves and their loved ones.

Sankar Raman

Pioneering Pilot Breaks Barriers

As a young woman growing up in a conservative society, Safia Ferozi overcame intense expectations and restrictions placed on women  

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Latest Conversations

Life is a Work in Progress

What does a mental health journey look like? How can art, music, and therapy bring us to better self understanding and self love? In this episode, Portland Community

Sankar Raman

I Am An American – Panel Discussion

Panelists explored their experiences as Asian American women, offering personal reflections  as well as highlighting current xenophobia and intolerance against  

Sankar Raman

Conversation Series: 200% American

Mitzi Asai Loftus and her son Toby talk frankly about her memories of growing up in Hood River, Oregon; her childhood incarceration  

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Featured Movies

To Bear Witness: Closure

On a journey to come to terms with their losses, a group of Holocaust survivors from Portland, OR, travel together to six of the locations where concentration camps

To Bear Witness: Reconciliation

A survivor of the genocide in Rwanda when he was a teenager, Emmanuel Turanturanye has a theory about why he is alive: to tell rest of world what happened

To Bear Witness: Building Community

After the Khmer Rouge killed her husband, Saron’s mother gathered her three small children and made her way to a refugee camp in Thailand and, finally,  

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Live! Music

Temple Romance – Live on Stage

Temple Romance goes to South Indian classical flute melodies blended with a strong string and chorale harmonies. Bala’s inspiration for this piece is

Magic Gem – Live on Stage

Magic Gem takes a classic Western melody and adapts it to an Eastern classical vibe using the Chinese erhu, played by Jerry Lin. 

Hit the Strings – Live on Stage

Hit the Strings is based on a Middle Eastern musical scale and features the Japanese koto played by Masumi Timson. Many cultural influences flow between  

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What We Carried

Jim Lommasson

Painted Letter #2, Berlin, Germany

Eva Rickles: This is the second letter from Peter, expressing the joy he felt to receive my parents’ response to his first letter written from Shanghai. 

Jim Lommasson

Painted Letter #1, Berlin, Germany

Eva Rickles: Jou and Peter’s Departure (Text below the letter) This picture depicts the exodus of friends of my parents who had to flee from Germany in 1938

Jim Lommasson

Photographs, Budapest, Hungary

Eva E. Aigner:  Our apartment became a house marked by a Jewish star, during the Holocaust. We were taken to the ghetto from here.

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