Is it okay, in a time as turbulent as ours is, to feel fortunate? Like many of us at Impact Hub Boston, I took a leap before I found a home.
I’d been working at Facing History and Ourselves, where I had done everything from serving as an administrative assistant to leading the content and innovation team. My work was my identity, and yet, when UCLA immigration scholar Carola Suarez-Orozco, one of the world’s leading scholars of immigration and youth; and her husband, Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, the Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, described an opportunity to help create a new organization that would seek to ensure that young people grow up understanding migration as a shared condition of our past, present, and future in order to develop the knowledge, empathy and mindsets that sustain inclusive and welcoming communities, I knew it was time to leave. I’d admired Carola and Marcelo’s work for years, and I knew we would have the opportunity to work with Veronica Boix-Mansilla, a Principal Investigator at Harvard’s Project Zero.
All good, right? Well, here’s the catch.
My partners work in LA. Furthermore I know enough about myself that there was no way I could work at home. I’m sure the story is familiar, and the questions as well. While I looked forward to creating a new identity as an educational entrepreneur, I didn’t want to be alone all day. This is the short version of why I’m here at Impact Hub Boston. I used to sit alone, quietly, and now, over time, I’ve been fortunate to find a community.
The organization we started, Re-imagining Migration, has begun to take root, spurred by our initiative, experience, hard work and a recognition shared by many educators that we need to change the narrative about migration and immigrant youth. Calls, emails, tweets, and conversations have become opportunities.
We are growing from an idea to an organization and co-workers here at Impact Hub have helped along the way in ways that they may not even recognize. I’d bother someone to take a look at the website as we were building it. I’d find someone else willing to listen to an emerging idea for a presentation. Someone told me the trick to print on poster size paper. So, now this is home. My UCLA colleagues and Harvard colleagues are jealous every time they come into the door. The view. The space. The snacks. The coffee.
So, I feel fortunate. I love my job. I love my workspace. And, of course, the news reminds me how fortunate I am. Every day.
We live in an age of mass migration. There are a billion people on the move, including newly displaced people every two seconds. Half of the newly displaced are under 18. The kids, the children of immigrants, and their peers are growing up in a time of increasing anti-immigrant rhetoric in the world and in schools here in the US. Many educators are doing their best to create welcoming environments for newcomers, but there is much more work to be done. We believe it is time to re-imagine the way we approach migration in schools, museums, and in the community. It is here that I feel fortunate as well: our recent commentary is featured prominently on the back cover of Education Week. For a lot of people in the education space, it is a sign that Re-imagining Migration is real.
Below is the commentary, I hope you find it stimulating. If you come to Boston, come find me here at Impact Hub Boston, we are always looking for partners, collaborators, colleagues, leads, and supporters.
Adam Strom is the Director of Re-imagining Migration and works out of Impact Hub Boston