Editor’s Note

Words: Tim Raphael


Every issue I try to identify a unifying thread or a shared impulse in the stories to write about in the editor’s note. This one was eluding me. What did a photo essay about domestic workers, a film about the oldest Portuguese language newspaper in the country, a podcast about an immigrant Lutheran congregation, a photo camp for high school students, and the last installment of our web series American Sueño have in common?

Then it came to me, like the voice from the corn in Field of Dreams, “This is what Newark looks like.”

The voice was actually Shana Russell, who wrote this issue’s terrific essays on Ursula Simone De Assis and Maricela Bendito. She was looking over my shoulder as I was scrolling through the issue. “This is Newark; immigrant and African-American histories coming together.”

This is the story of post-industrial cities across the country. It is an important story, a complicated story, an evolving story. And now more than ever a story that demands our attention.

37 VOICES is a photo essay documenting how in one of the wealthiest states in the country a disturbingly large number of working people are struggling to get by.

LUSO-AMERICANO is a short film about the largest Portuguese-language newspaper in the United States, and how it keeps a community connected.

In PICTURING NEWARK, sixteen young photographers share their vision of life in Newark through a National Geographic Photo Camp.

ACT OF FAITH is an audio story about St. Stephen’s Grace Community, a church that puts into practice what its pastor preaches from the pulpit.

AMERICAN SUEÑO: ONWARD is the final installment of our web series about undocumented immigrant Marisol Conde Hernandez and her family. The series began in the wake of President Obama’s expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program in November 2014. As DACA worked its way through the courts we followed Marisol as she worked her way through law school.

This will be the last episode of American Sueño, because while the fate of DACA still hangs in the balance, Marisol, against all odds, was admitted to the bar this November and is now a practicing attorney in New Jersey. Kudos to Marisol and her family for this epic achievement!

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More stories from this issue more

For My Immigrants

An anthem for immigrants


37 Voices

In one of the wealthiest states in the country, a disturbingly high number of working people are struggling to afford the basic necessities

Visuals: Ed Kashi
Intro: Mary Ann Koruth
Words: Shana Russell


Luso-Americano: A Newspaper, A World

The largest Portuguese-language newspaper in the U.S. keeps a community connected

Words: Mary Ann Koruth with Maria Do Carmo Pereira
Video: Julie Winokur and Stephanie Khoury


Picturing Newark

Sixteen young photographers share their vision of life in their city as part of a National Geographic Photo Camp

Video: Talking Eyes Media
Photos: National Geographic Photo Campers
Words: Julie Winokur


Act of Faith

A church that puts into practice what's said on the pulpit

Audio: Rachel Dennis
Visuals: Maciek Nabrdalik
Words: Cynthia Mellon


American Sueño: Onward

In the final installment of the web series, Marisol Conde-Hernandez becomes the first undocumented female attorney in New Jersey

Visuals: Rachel Dennis, Gareth Smit,  Ron Haviv


What is

We are a multimedia collaboratory of journalists, media-makers, artists, faculty and students telling the stories that radiate from the most diverse university in the nation. Based in Newark, NJ, a city shaped by migration, our project affords a glimpse into the world of the newest Americans and a vision of our demographic future.

Newest Americans is produced by the Center for Migration and the Global City, and faculty in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at Rutgers University Newark in partnership with VII Photo and Talking Eyes Media. We have a large body of contributors and co-conspirators who are credited in the masthead and at the end of each story.

To contact us, please email info@newestamericans.com.

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