Hearts of Texas

Here's a long one for you if you're in the mood for a good story.

Months ago, Buzzfeed's senior culture writer, Anne Helen Peterson, came down to Dallas to begin telling the story of middle-eastern refugees resettled in this city. This finished article perfectly captures both the heart-wrenching losses and hard-won triumphs experienced by refugees, as I learned in the days and days I got to spend with so many that welcomed me into their homes and let me bring my camera and take a look into their most personal moments (and fed me, and then fed me some more).

The story doesn't just profile refugees. It's also about the Christian volunteers who found their way to a life of service they never expected and a city that continues to open its arms to those in need in the most surprising ways. As Anne said:

"This is a Dallas that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. A Dallas that’s 49% nonwhite, and where nearly 1 in 4 residents were born somewhere outside of the United States. Islands of near-complete whiteness persist in the Highland Park area — a highly manicured self-incorporated enclave within Dallas proper, known for its exemplary schools and the tendency to pull over anyone who’s not white. But in the rest of Dallas, a child is far more likely to go to school with kids who don’t look like them or speak the same language at home."

"Dallas is deliberately making room — in its heart, in its conception of itself — for refugees."

Immigration isn't the biggest story in the news in these days - in fact, this article was itself delayed for weeks due to the never-ending barrage of breaking news from the current administration - but life has continued to happen to these new Texans in the mean time. Getting to help tell these stories in my own community is the very best part of my job & I'm always delighted when a publication like Buzzfeed is willing to spend valuable resources here.

Please click the image to read the article.