September 15, 2022
Every year thousands of refugees who call the United States their new home can face many misconceptions in their new country, including those about the difference between immigrants and refugees. Researchers with the Refugee Integration Project at University of Missouri–St. Louis spent 12 months documenting these sorts of critical shifts, moments, and experiences of resettlement. Built on the stories that emerged, the researched-based play We Came As Refugees: An American Story and supporting educational tools are available to help students and adults better understand the challenges faced by refugees from such places as Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and Syria.
The play’s creators chose a puppet show format for the production, available on video, because using puppetry rather than human actors can help audiences be more receptive to considering new, challenging ideas. Supporting materials include a play script; puppet-show performance video; study guides customized with activities for different age levels (middle school/aged 11–13; high school/aged 14–18); and pre- and post-show surveys. Educators can license bundled or individual materials to best suit their needs and intended use. A chart of all licensing options and usage rights is posted online.