Episode #010 Cultivating Community Pt. 2

January 20, 2014
Brett Sykes
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Episode 10 is the second half of a two part series at the Packard-Littlefield Farm in Lisbon, ME. The farm plays host to the New American Sustainable Agricultural Project (NASAP), a project of Cultivating Communities, who’s mission is “to assist immigrant and refugee farmers to build successful farm businesses that are consistent with their culture, lifestyle aspirations, and individual goals” in Maine. Many of the immigrants come from Somalia, which has made international news over the years for civil warfare and extreme poverty. In Part 2 we look at how the local residents of the Lewiston area have reacted to the influx of refugees over the years, and how some of the more negative prejudices are changing as more stories are told by the refugees.

In 2012 the Mayor of Lewiston Robert MacDonald made international headlines with his comments towards Somalian refugees. In an interview with the BBC he said “You come and you accept our culture, and you leave your culture at the door.” When asked to clarify his comments by local TV station WGME he stated “I don’t care if you’re white, you’re black, you’re yellow. I don’t care what color you are, when you come into the country, you have to accept our culture. Don’t try to insert your culture into ours.” His comments not only came under scrutiny, but they illicited a full blown KKK rally, which was matched by a counter-rally.

This episode looks at how the lewiston area has responded since those comments, and how some people’s views are starting to change as more stories from the refugee are told. Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe on the links above!



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