Alaska is home to many blended families of different ethnicities and immigration statuses, with an increasing numbers of Alaskan families including a member born outside of the U.S. Fear of anti-immigrant policies threaten the stability of these families, driving them underground, depriving them of rights and liberties, and making them extraordinarily reluctant to tell their stories. In response, this Project proposes to tell the stories of 16 Alaskan families and their relationship to the larger community to raise public awareness about the impact anti-immigration policies have on the community’s children.
Through a series of drawings and narratives, the Project will depict the multitude of ethnicities within families and illustrate how the fear of having one family member removed makes all of them, and in particular children, vulnerable. This Project’s goal is to erase stereotypes and improve public immigration policies by documenting the invaluable contributions these families make within the communities. Through a method of anonymity – while blending art and public policy to tell these families’ stories – the project creates an innovative and safe way to ensure the voices of all Alaskans are heard. Three distinct but complimentary products will result: a book of portraits and stories for wide distribution to policy makers, educators, and social service providers to fully inform the public debate around immigration issues; an art exhibit featuring the portraits and stories to demonstrate the community's rich diversity, and to improve community awareness of the social implications of immigration issues; and a website to make the project accessible to a worldwide audience.