Modern Day Safe Haven

by | Nov 3, 2012 | Blog

Film Title:  Utica, NY: The Town that Loves Refugees

Company:  UNHCR—The UN Refugee Agency

Age Range:  High School

Does not include Teaching Materials

Topic:  Refugees starting over

Subject Areas:  Human rights, Nationalism, Racism, Immigration, Persecution and War, Government, Social Studies, History, Freedom

Film Synopsis:  A short slide-show that describes how Utica, NY has become a “haven” for refugees. Once a booming industrial city, then abandoned, the refugees are helping to revitalize the city just as much as the city is helping them move forward.

Running Time and Sections:  1 program—9 minutes


            Although not an actual movie, this slide-show (with voice-over) illustrates how one city is helping refugees move forward in their lives after a horrible setback. Utica was once an important textile city, but has been since abandoned. When refugees started to move there, they helped to reverse the town’s decline. Always an immigrant city, Utica is now home to mostly refugees with a staggering statistic of 1 refugee out of every 6 people. The slide-show details individual’s stories, why they came to America and how they are doing since their flee. One of the things that I found most interesting about Utica, NY, considering the immense immigrant population, is that the city has a Refugee Resource Center. This center not only helps refugees learn English, find jobs, find housing, but also helps Americans adjust to the influx of refugees. What we can do to help these people? The United States resettles more refugees per year than any other country in the world with the shocking percentage of 1:100 people in the US have refugee status.