Monday, August 17 at 7PM CDT
After the Last Border
In conversation with Helen Thorpe, Ashley Faye of Refugee Services of Texas, and Lu Zeidan of iAct.
This event will be broadcast live on Zoom
ABOUT AFTER THE LAST BORDER
The story of two refugee families and their hope and resilience as they fight to survive and belong in America
The welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees has been central to America’s identity for centuries—yet America has periodically turned its back at the times of greatest humanitarian need. After the Last Border is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the “golden ticket” to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas.
Mu Naw, a Christian from Myanmar struggling to put down roots with her family, was accepted after decades in a refugee camp at a time when America was at its most open to displaced families; and Hasna, a Muslim from Syria, agrees to relocate as a last resort for the safety of her family—only to be cruelly separated from her children by a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. Writer and activist Jessica Goudeau tracks the human impacts of America’s ever-shifting refugee policy as both women narrowly escape from their home countries and begin the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin, Texas—a city that would show them the best and worst of what America has to offer.
After the Last Border situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history—the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies—revealing not just how America’s changing attitudes toward refugees has influenced policies and laws, but also the profound effect on human lives.
ABOUT JESSICA GOUDEAU
Jessica Goudeau has written for The Atlantic, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, among other places, and is a former columnist for Catapult. She produced projects for Teen Vogue (“Ask a Syrian Girl”) and “A Line Birds Cannot See,” a documentary about a young girl who crossed the border into the US on her own. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Texas and served as a Mellon Writing Fellow and Interim Writing Center Director at Southwestern University. Goudeau has spent more than a decade years working with refugees in Austin, TX and is the co-founder of Hill Tribers, a nonprofit that provided supplemental income for Burmese refugee artisans for seven years.
ABOUT HELEN THORPE
Helen Thorpe was born in London to Irish parents and grew up in New Jersey. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York magazine, The New Yorker, Slate, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her radio stories have aired on This American Life and Sound Print. She is the author of Just Like Us, Soldier Girls, and The Newcomers and lives in Denver.
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