Tag: Radio pieces on immigrants in the city


No Count, No Funds: Minorities in Bushwick Suffer the Consequences of a Census Undercount

After low participation in the 2000 Census, one Brooklyn neighborhood struggles to provide its predominantly Hispanic residents with basic services. Also: Reporter Annie Correal on The Brian Lehrer Show.


Reporter’s Notebook: The 2010 Census and the Challenge of Undocumented Immigrant Households

Fi2W launches its project on the Census with a radio piece and a live conversation on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on hard-to-reach immigrant households.


Reporter’s Notebook: Conn. Priest Shows How to Earn the Trust of an Immigrant Community

FI2W reporter Aswini Anburajan produced a radio piece for NPR’s Latino USA on Father James Manship, a Roman Catholic priest in New Haven, Conn., who teaches his immigrant parishioners how to stand up for their civil rights, and who has been in the news in the past for being arrested in a confrontation with local police officers. Here, Aswini narrates how she managed to produce the piece, which aired on Latino USA and which you can listen to below.

By Aswini Anburajan, FI2W contributor

If you think that ethnic reporting isn’t critical to knowing a community, read on. This is the first piece I’ve done for Feet in 2 Worlds that hasn’t been on Indian Americans. The basis of FI2W is to get reporters to write about their own communities, but even I didn’t realize why this is so important until I delved into a project for Latino USA.

My piece was originally supposed to be on the economic life of a day laborer or someone new to the country, undocumented and trying to establish a life in the U.S. That piece remains undone. Being an Indian American with some high school Spanish under my belt, I thought it would be a cake walk. Call some social service agencies, reach out to immigrant coalitions, and I could “break in.”

Manship in 2008 visited with family and friends of his Connecticut parishioners, in the province of Morena Santiago, in the rainforest regions of Ecuador. (Photo: Courtesy J. Manship)

Manship in 2008 visited with family and friends of his Connecticut parishioners, in the province of Morena Santiago, in the rainforest regions of Ecuador. (Photo: Courtesy J. Manship - Click for more images)

Four months later, I had to think again. Without truly knowing a community, or having cultural or language associations with them, I found it impossible to get through and talk to individuals who were undocumented. It wasn’t that every door I knock on was slammed in my face. Most of the time, people pretended they weren’t home. This ranged from individuals I knew with ties to the Latino community to social service agencies.



In Memoriam: Frank McCourt – A New Yorker With Feet in Two Worlds

He was born in New York, reared in Limerick, Ireland, and then returned to the U.S. as a young man. After decades as a public school teacher, fame found him when he published Angela’s Ashes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of growing up in a poor Irish family. Even in his later years he had “unfinished emotional business” with the city of his childhood.

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Author Frank McCourt, who died Sunday at age 78, truly had his feet in two worlds. Hence, it was fitting that he provided his words –and his unmistakable Irish accent– for the narration of the radio documentary that gave birth to the Feet in 2 Worlds project, back in 2005.

Feet in 2 Worlds. Immigrants in a Global City was set in New York’s immigrant neighborhoods and told by immigrant reporters. McCourt’s first lines —read the full transcript here– were:

You arrive here as an immigrant and make a new life for yourself, but you never completely leave the country where you were born. It’s hard to find a home away from home.

In the introductory segment, McCourt said:

My name is Frank McCourt. I was born in New York and taken to Ireland when I was three. I returned to the U.S.A. when I was nineteen. Since then I’ve returned to Ireland frequently, even thought of going back and living there, but that’s another story.

Yes, going back and forth can be confusing. You wonder who you are, where you belong. Sometimes people ask me, “Do you consider yourself Irish or American?’” For a long time I didn’t know how to answer that question. I love both countries, but the people asking the questions were not satisfied, and I wasn’t quite satisfied till, somehow, the answer came: I am a New Yorker. This is where I was born. This is where I came when I was nineteen, and this is where I’ve decided I’ll live forever.

You can listen to the Feet in Two Worlds radio documentary at the WNYC, New York public radio, web site (on Real Audio.)

And you can read more about the documentary here.


Helping Haitians to Help Themselves: FI2W’s Martina Guzmán on WDET’s Detroit Today

The Detroit non-profit brings health care and medicines to Mirebalais, a town in Haiti - Photo: Haiti Outreach Mission.

The Detroit non-profit brings health care and medicines to Mirebalais, a town in Haiti. (Photo: Haiti Outreach)

Non-profit group Haiti Outreach, based out of St. Blase Church on Detroit’s east side, sends physicians and medical supplies to Mirebalais, a remote town in Haiti.

In a new piece for Detroit public radio’s Detroit Today show, Feet in 2 Worlds and WDET reporter Martina Guzmán reports on the group and its missions to Haiti, where people “will do anything to see a physician,” including standing in a mile-long line, say members Dominique Monde and Soledad Nelson.

“The relationship between both communities is mutually beneficial –reports Martina–. By helping a town in Haiti, Haitian-Americans help themselves maintain their identity.”

You can hear the piece below or visit Detroit Today’s webpage.


A New Generation of Polish-Americans: Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on NPR’s Latino USA

Greenpoint, Brooklyns Polish neighborhood. (Photos: E. Kern-Jedrychowska)

Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s Polish neighborhood. (Photos: E. Kern-Jedrychowska)

A New Generation of Polish-Americans, a story by Feet in 2 Worlds and Polish Daily News reporter Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, is the main feature on this week’s NPR show Latino USA (find your NPR station here).

From the Latino USA website:

The history of Poland hasn’t always been pretty.

While historians would say the country was born in 966 when its ruler became Christianized, it’s territorial boundaries haven’t been well-defined throughout the ages. In fact, from 1795 to 1918, Poland didn’t exist as a nation and the territory was divided among the kingdoms of Prussia, Austria, and Russia.

Constantly invaded, partitioned, borders redrawn, and territory occupied, the Poles themselves led a workers’ revolution in the 1980s that threw off the shackles of Soviet-led communism and inspired the world with the word: “Solidarity.”

Throughout most of the 20th Century, however, many Poles yearned for the freedom and security of America. But for the younger generation who grew up after the fall of Communism, those yearnings of their parents and grandparents just aren’t resonating.

You can listen to the story below:


Or you can listen to the story while watching a photo slideshow at the Latino USA website.

You can read more of Ewa’s Feet In 2 Worlds pieces on Polish-Americans here.


Immigrant Demand for English Classes Outstrips Supply in Massachusetts Town: Eduardo A. de Oliveira On PRI’s The World

Christine Tibor announces the results of Framingham's ESL Lottery. (Photo: E. A. de Oliveira)

Christine Tibor announces the results of Framingham's ESL Lottery. (All photos by E. A. de Oliveira)

“If you don’t speak English, you’re missing out at work, at home,” Luciene Campos said in Portuguese. “When you do, you’re more respected.”

She was one of some 600 immigrants, many of them Brazilian, who recently jammed the auditorium of a Framingham, Mass. middle school waiting for a lottery that would assign 185 slots in English as a Second Language classes.

The classes, Feet In 2 Worlds reporter Eduardo A. de Oliveira wrote on EthnicNEWz.org, are “an obligatory stop for immigrants eager to learn the language of their future — but not all of them would get enrolled.”

Monday,PRI’s nationally-syndicated radio show The World ran a radio piece by Eduardo about the ESL lottery. This is from the show’s website:

Brazilian immigrants make up about a third of the population of Framingham, Massaschusetts. Many newspapers, radio stations and businesses cater to the immigrant’s needs. But the Brazilians still want desperately to learn English. Eduardo de Oliveira reports that the town’s English classes are so popular that you need to win a lottery to get in.

You can listen to Eduardo’s report here:


Brazilian Luciene Campos takes a test to know which level she will be placed at. At her side is the little girl she babysits.

Brazilian Luciene Campos takes a test to know which level she will be placed at. At her side is the little girl she babysits.

Here are a couple of extra interviews:

Christine Tibor is the director of Framingham’s ESL program. Twenty–five years ago, Tibor was the program’s first teacher. In this interview she told Eduardo de Oliveira she knows how it feels to live in a foreign country and not be able to speak the language. During a trip to Venezuela, she survived on a diet of ham-and-cheese, the only two words she knew in Spanish.


Fernando Castro is the owner of five tax preparation stores in Massachusetts. He was a student in thel ESL program 19 years ago. Now, he’s an occasional sponsor of the program.

Christine Tibor receives assistance from Spanish- and Portuguese-language translators.

Christine Tibor receives assistance from Spanish- and Portuguese-language translators.

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Polish Immigrants Returning to Poland: FI2W’s Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska Reports on WNYC

Feet In Two Worlds reporter Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska recently produced a feature story for WNYC News. Her radio piece about New York Poles returning to Poland aired locally during NPR’s All Things Considered.

From WNYC News:

The troubling economic times here are making some immigrants think about going home. Nineteen years after the collapse of communism and four years after joining the European Union, Poland is booming and young Poles in the United States want to profit from these changes.

They’re following the example of Irish immigrants who have been lured home by the Irish economic miracle. For undocumented immigrants the decision to return is sped up by anti-immigrant sentiment that is forcing out foreign workers from many parts of the world. As part of our occasional series, Feet in Two Worlds, Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, of the Polish Daily News has this report.

You can listen to Ewa’s story here.


The Start of the Dominican Migration to New York: FI2W’s Diego Graglia on WNYC, New York Public Radio

Dominicans in New York - Photo: Bonnie Natko/FlickrThere are so many Dominicans in New York today that the city is sometimes called the thirty-second province of the Dominican Republic.

Feet in Two Worlds journalist Diego Graglia reports on the roots of the city’s Dominican community—how they got here, how political activism shaped their early arrival, and how they have preserved what one person in Diego’s story calls their community’s “Dominicanness.”

Diego’s story, “Feet in Two Worlds: Dominicans in Manhattan,” aired on November 5, 2007, during All Things Considered on WNYC, New York Public Radio. You can listen to it online on the WNYC website or you can press play below.



The Plight of Polish Asbestos Workers at Ground Zero: FI2W’s Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on WNYC

In “Ground Zero May Be Making Even Well-Protected Workers Sick,” Feet in Two Worlds reporter Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska describes the plight of Polish asbestos workers who participated in the cleanup after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Ewa reports that toxic chemicals at the site are suspected of killing an alarming number of these workers, and that many others have lost their jobs due to illness or changes in immigration laws that were implemented after 9/11.

Ewa’s story aired on September 11, 2007, during Morning Edition, as part of WNYC’s coverage of the 6th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Press play to hear the story.