“You can’t prevent every student from making bad decisions, but I believe I’m helping some.”
Sultana arrived last Wednesday Early that morning, after waiting and carefully watching Door B of international arrivals for more than an hour, suddenly–during a moment…
On Tuesday, July 19th, 2016, Flow Media hosted a “knee to knee” gathering of thirty-some community members from different backgrounds to hear personal stories and have a conversation about race. This is the first reflective piece produced from that gathering, written by our summer intern, Aren Buresh. The conversation was extraordinary, and full of love. We hope this is just the beginning.
We received this message from Emily Roberts last night and had to share with you. THE EMAIL WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! (Drum roll please…)…
“I think that fiction, especially novels, can help us to think about those issues of recovery and remedy in ways that perhaps the international court system cannot.”
“I know this sounds a little corny, but I’ve really liked Iowa; I’ve really liked Cedar Rapids in particular,” said Mario. “I think it’s a much better place to live. It’s a much better corner of the world than people who live here even imagine. I don’t think they can fathom how nice this place is when compared to the world at large.”
Last weekend Sultana was interviewed by Nicholas Kristof. Here Emily Roberts talks about about how her friend got connected with the New York Times columnist through physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, and also how you can support this unstoppable young woman.
Dramatic Changes in the Last Few Days. Sultana’s friends in the U.S. have been busy trying to create conditions more favorable for her next student…
We call her “Susan the Hatmaker” with all the affection the title can carry. This woman was willing to send her address to a stranger (who texts with improper grammar, no less), to make him a hat, to respond with an open heart. Who is she?
“From our country, the greeting is literally, ‘Have you eaten today?'”
We can help change Sultana’s Story, and we want you to be involved. On Tuesday, June 14th from 9:00am to noon, Central Standard Time, we’re asking hundreds of thousands of people to blitz Twitter and other social media with the hashtag #LetSultanaLearn.
She has been cooking for 40 years and still her eyes light up with passion when she talks about it. “I’ve got to go to work today and make the best salads I can for these kids,” she says. “Feeding people is important. People have to eat every single day, it keeps your brain and your body going.”
“I do great business during white elephant gift-giving season. A lot of people buy them as gag gifts, but many others have told me that I’ve saved their lives.”
“I wake up early before anyone else in my family. For 30 minutes I bike and listen to music. And then I make tea for myself and drink it and read a book. Most of the time I read philosophy in the morning. And then I do some calculus problems.
“I believe forming relationships is key to being a good police officer.”
What are you looking forward to most about coming to the United States?
“I’m most excited to see the sky without walls.”
“On weekends we’d go to parties from house to house with their friends and neighbors. My grandparents and their friends would play cards and dance. It was an honor if I got to step in for my grandmother. It fueled my love of Irish dancing.”
My friend, Sultana, is an Afghan Muslim student hoping to come to Iowa to attend the University. She’s overcome some amazing barriers to pursue education and her dream of becoming a physicist, including threats of kidnapping, rape, and acid burning.
The problem is, she’s not normal. She’s outstanding. She’s strong and intelligent and caring and has overcome experiences in her life that most of her peers–thankfully–will never have to face. Her history, her abilities, and her grit have shaped her into a person that others will always treat as special, because she is, well…special.
I always try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt so that I can make a fair assessment of them. And I think that if you can’t get to that point as an adult, you will be seriously handicapped in whatever you’re trying to accomplish, because good people come in all shapes, forms, and sizes, but so do bad people. And sometimes you just gotta do the hard work and sit down and get to know a person before you can find out who’s who in this world.
Please watch and share this video if you believe it represents Eastern Iowa the way you think it should be. Click read more below to read a message from us about why we created “From Iowa With Love”.
Everywhere I go with Jean Brenneman, she can find someone she knows. She loves to make friends. She’s a very outgoing person, but even when she’s not trying to strike up a friendship, people seem drawn to her.
A new video from Corridor Characters, produced by Flow Media. Take a walk with us through Cedar Rapids’ “ghetto” and see what life is really…
Like many places in the Philippines, powerful storms and flooding were a frequent problem. “I remember the lights would go off,” Elwie explains, “and we used to make shapes out of our hands with the candle light, and we would make our own little canoes and we’d canoe through the neighborhood. The water was only like a foot deep, but we were kids, so it seemed so high to us. So we would canoe through our village and get everyone smiling, waving at people and flinging the water. We made the best out of what we had.”
(Click below to read Elwie’s full story.)
Check out this video we made! The City of Cedar Rapids asked us to create this in order to introduce CR at the Iowa League…
“Let’s start off with food being free and not poisoned, and then let’s see how many social justice issues remain.”
When Jacinto was 12 years old, he left his parents and siblings in Guatemala and set out on a journey to Iowa. He came to the very heart of the nation which had devastated his own for decades. The nation that funded the killing of his uncle and thousands of others was the same that provided him with a new future.
The Rwandan genocide was a hundred-day killing spree that left somewhere between 500,000 to 1 million people dead. Ten-year old Erick survived, with machete scars on his neck to remind him of all the family and friends he lost. He walked seven days with other refugees until he reached a protective camp across the border in Tanzania. He lived in the camp until he was 22 years old. Then he came to the U.S., and eventually Cedar Rapids, IA.
“I decided I was going to be a different person. I was never going to lie again, never going to cheat, never going to put myself around people who were not good for me and were not going to help me out in life and were not about good things for their own lives. And once I made that change, that choice, I feel like things just sort of started clicking. And I’ve noticed throughout my life that the more I make those kind of choices, the more good things happen.”
“As a kid I would look out my second-floor window, and I would see guys across the park shooting at each other. I remember times hearing stories of people dying. We would be in what they call the projects. That’s where we lived. And I would be walking, and my mom would say, ‘Hey, you smell that? That’s a dead body.’”