Stories from The Global City

Words: Tim Raphael
Visuals: Ed Kashi


Welcome to Newest Americans!

So here it is, the first issue of an experiment in collaborative storytelling.

Our collaboratory is comprised of journalists, media-makers, artists, research faculty and students. We are situated on the campus of the most diverse university in the nation, a public university with immigrant students from around the globe. We are also rooted in an urban metropolis. These elements—diverse, public, immigrant, urban, metropolitan—inform the stories we have to tell.

Our stories emanate from the campus of Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, where the newest Americans from all over the world are acquiring a college education and social mobility. It is here in Newark that their stories converge with those of immigrant Jews and Catholics, Portuguese, Germans, Italians, and Irish, as well as African Americans who arrived as part of the Great Migration, the largest internal migration in American history. Newark has always been a crucible for the construction of new American identities. It is also the connective thread that ties these new immigrant journeys to the foundational story of American identity born of migration and transformation.

Newest Americans is rooted in Newark but the stories in this inaugural issue also take us to Nigeria, Syria and the Jim Crow South. The lives that have produced these stories come in many shapes and sizes, styles and colors. And so does Newest Americans. In our inaugural issue we launch two continuing series, American Sueño, about an aspirational undocumented law student, and We Came And Stayed, photo and video profiles of families who migrated to Newark; the people who came and stayed. For spoken word poetry and personal narratives, take a listen to Transcendental Latino and From Where I Stand, both explorations of identity and metamorphosis. Notes for My Homeland is a short film about a Syrian-American composer, the Syrian Revolution and the arts of resistance. The GlassBook Project: Provisions is a multimedia art project that includes books made of glass, videos, photo galleries, audio clips, poetry and soundscapes. Rounding out this issue are a blog about domestic labor, race and immigration (Maid in the USA) and a graphic novel about an Asian-American college student encountering Newark (Face of a City).

We are excited to share this glimpse into the world of the newest Americans and the vision they provide of our demographic future. If you want to learn more about the work we are producing, check us out on social media and sign up for our newsletter.

Recognize yourself in he and she
who are not like you and me.

― Carlos Fuentes 


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More stories from this issue more

We Came and Stayed: Coyt Jones/Ras Baraka

Visuals: Ashley Gilberston, Ed Kashi, Julie Winokur


From Where I Stand

Audio essays created by students in a Narrative Journalism class in response to the prompt "From Where I Stand"...

Visuals: David Bergeland and Journalism students
Sound: Ogechukwu Gbanite, Haminah Johnson, Evan Leblanc



GlassBook Project: Provisions

Books made of glass inspired by the stories from the Krueger-Scott African American oral history project.

Words: Samantha Boardman
Visuals: Nyier Abdou, Rachel Dennis, Nick Kline


American Sueño

A continuing series investigating how different immigration statuses impact the members of a single Mexican-American family.

Visuals: Gareth Smit, Ron Haviv, Rachel Dennis


Face of a City

The first installment of a graphic novel exploring Newark through the eyes of an Asian-American student who arrives in the city to attend college.

Words: Alex W. Yoe
Visuals: Alex W. Yoe


Notes For My Homeland

A Syrian-American composer responds to the tragedies instigated by the Assad regime by composing music in support of the Syrian Revolution, and performing it at great personal risk.

Visuals: Ed Kashi


Transcendental Latino

A spoken word poem written for Something to Declare, a student devised theater piece about the immigrant experience.

Words: Orlando Velez
Visuals: David Bergeland


Transcendental Latino


Maid in the USA

Shana Russell’s provocation to think with her about the domestic labor, scholarship and questions that get left on the cutting room floor.

Words: Shana Russell



Clement Alexander Price

Words: Tim Raphael


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

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