Focus on Welcoming

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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Welcoming stories

First Person American and Active Voice, in partnership with Shelbyville Multimedia, present “Welcoming Stories,” the series of five pilot episodes featuring immigrants telling their story of a person who helped them when they first came to America. Welcoming Stories aims to encourage Americans to become more welcoming, and to inspire other immigrants to share their own story about someone who made a big difference in their lives when they first arrived.

The pilot episodes, directed and produced by graphic designer Irina Lee, are available to view online. This series of five pilot episodes was developed alongside a documentary, called “Welcome to Shelbyville,” which will premiere nationwide tonight on PBS on May 24, 2011 at 10:00 PM EST (check local listings.) After watching the “Welcoming Stories” series, viewers can submit their own videos, photos and written stories to

For videos submissions, viewers can upload their story to a personal YouTube or Vimeo account, name the file “Welcoming Stories – [Your First Name] in [Location],” and email the URL to Approved videos will be embedded and shared on the Welcoming Stories blog and social media. Lee says: “Please spread the word and share ‘Welcoming Stories’ with your friends, family and networks. We hope that our pilot episodes will inspire others to pick up a camera, or at least a keyboard, and share their own memories of someone who helped along their way.” Join the Twitter feed: @FPAmerican and the blog.