THESE STORIES break hearts, and that’s a good thing.
We’re facing the world’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II. When my eyes first opened to the level of horror and abject discouragement faced by these men, women and children, I spent an embarrassing amount of time despairing and journaling. Then, at last, my sweet husband asked, “So what are you going to do about it?”
I realized then that though I claimed to be for refugees, I didn’t know any. Thus began my journey to do what I do best: change issues into stories, and associate those stories with faces. Ten refugees in the Pacific Northwest have bravely offered up their stories.
They agreed to be painted and interviewed about the most harrowing period of their lives and how they have overcome, so that we may listen and learn from their experiences.
For every purchase of my book, “When You Can’t Go Home: Portraits of Refugees in the Pacific Northwest,” 50% of the proceeds go directly to World Relief, an organization helping these refugees work through the chaos of escaping danger and settling into their new homes.
I am just a painter; you are just a reader. But it takes all of us to stand against injustice. We can fight the temptation of apathy through humanizing our global neighbors, and through engaging in practical advocacy, many methods of which are listed at the back of my book.
It starts today: a partnership between you, me and those who need their voices to be heard. Because even though shattered hearts are better than apathy, it’s not enough to be broken by what we see. We must also aspire to be part of the solution.