This is Our Story


Founded in 2017 by Sankar Raman, who immigrated to the U.S. from India, The Immigrant Story (TIS) is a volunteer-run nonprofit with a mission to foster empathy and build a more inclusive community by sharing stories of immigrants and refugees who often overcame tremendous odds to reach the United States. Sankar, who has experienced violent, racially-motivated attacks, founded The Immigrant Story in response to a Kansas shooting in February 2017 that killed one Indian American man and injured two others. 

In four short years, TIS has grown into a multimedia storytelling site, reporting, rigorously documenting, and publishing the stories of nearly 200 immigrants thus far, launching a podcast that includes stories told in the authentic voices of immigrants and refugees, and producing an in-depth conversation series. TIS has also organized more than 30 visual arts exhibitions and public events along with establishing a curriculum on immigration for public schools. 

TIS has more than 60 volunteers from 10 different states developing our content. Our readership is global. From seasoned professionals to eager students, we are proud to support a diverse team of journalists, writers, photographers, designers, and tech experts. Together, our volunteers have shaped and amplified these stories. In the process, we have become a premiere storytelling platform. TIS takes a community-oriented, collaborative approach to all our programming. We have partnered with local organizations for events and projects.

In 2019, TIS received a Light A Fire Award for Best New Nonprofit from Portland Monthly Magazine, and a Hillsboro Arts & Culture Endowment Award from the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council for our work serving the community. In 2021 we received the Oregon Stewardship Award, recognizing The Immigrant Story’s stewardship of the region’s collective past, present and future, from the University of Oregon.