Embracing the Free State
May 2014 (Clare Shreve)
Upon moving to the U.S., many refugee youth face bullying, intolerance, and misunderstandings because of their nationality, skin color and English proficiency. To combat the negative assumptions about newcomers, Ms. Shreve collaborated with students who attended RYP’s Moravia, Upton, and Catonsville after-school sites to create a book about their home countries. The narratives in Embracing the Free State showcases youth voices from six different countries: Burma, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, and Mauritania. The book celebrates differences and promotes cultural sharing within classrooms and homes. By educating young people and those around them about other ways of life, Embracing the Free State aspires to be a tool to help bridge the gap between ignorance and knowledge, bullying and safety.