Resilience in Crisis – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Resilience in Crisis

Olive Jayakar


Research Mentor(s): Angela Ebreo, Associate Research Scientist
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Diversity Research & Policy Program, School of Education
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 19
Presenter: 4

Event Link


Immigrants in the United States play an ambivalent role in the public health crisis of COVID-19. They are especially vulnerable to economic burden, health risk, and mental health issues due to lack of access to affordable healthcare. On the other hand, immigrant healthcare workers play a vital part in fighting against the pandemic and providing culturally sensitive care (Tayaben and Younas 2020). Focusing on immigrants’ challenges during the public health crisis, this creative arts project further recognizes their under-representation in the depiction of such challenges by the mainstream media. Through collaboration with Chicago-based community arts group CIRCA-Pintig (CP), this project provides immigrants with a voice for storytelling via theatre arts. Ultimately, this community-engaged project’s aims to spark public conversation about immigrant rights during a public health crisis. In Resilience in Crisis we adopt qualitative methods and interview immigrants about their COVID-19 stories. Ultimately, we will create a verbatim theatre piece based on these stories. Using the online platform StoryCorps Connect the hour long virtual interviews involve dialogue-style storytelling between interviewer and interviewee. To fully utilize CP’s Chicago-based immigrant network and achieve maximum outreach, we initially focus on immigrant communities in the city of Chicago. In the future we plan to expand the project outside of the Chicago area. Through interviews, we are creating a space that is comfortable, safe, and accessible for the sharing of personal experiences, values, and ideas concerning social justice, identity, and minority cultural issues. Preliminary interviews with community members affiliated with CP have been conducted helping Resilience in Crisis to develop a methodology for interview facilitation and allowing interviewees to comfortably share their stories with interviewers and a wider audience. Resilience in Crisis’s significance lies in portraying and giving voice to community members at the intersection of public health crisis and immigrant identity. Ultimately, in collaboration with CP, we are advocating for the wellbeing and cultural understanding of immigrants in Chicago.

Authors: Zekai Zhang, Ginger Leopoldo
Research Method: Survey Research

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