ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It started out as a project to connect with refugees in Albuquerque through art.
Now, after more than two years, University of New Mexico students are launching a new book about the refugee crisis.
“I think New Mexico is really going to be an example for the rest of the country on how to address the refugee crisis,” said student Sonny Haquani.
Startling facts about the global issue are laid out in the new book. “Outside the Margins” is the work of UNM students from a variety of majors who are part of a campus group called International Business Student Global.
“We were a group at our maximum of 30 students who were getting together on Sunday mornings to write a book about something that was on the other side of the world,” explained student, Josh Lane.
Over the last two years, the students have compiled research and refugee accounts to create “Outside the Margins,” a book they hope will give readers a deeper understanding of refugees.
“How can we as a society learn more and it starts with listening, and in order for us to listen we have to give them a voice; Art is that voice,” Lane said.
The book discusses how art programs involving refugees and the community can bridge that gap. It highlights work being done now at Lutheran Family Services in Albuquerque.
“No matter who you are or where you come from when you see someone expressing themselves in that capacity you empathize with them,” Lane said.
They want to spark conversation, including among policymakers, about how communities can do a better job integrating those who have been displaced.
“This book itself is an art piece,” explained Claire Stasiewicz, Anderson School of Management.
The students hope the book’s visually appealing design makes it easy to understand the complex issue.
Their advisor says the book shows the magnitude of student work at UNM.
“This is the reason I get up in the morning,” Manuel Montoya said.A launch for “Outside the Margins” is planned for Thursday at UNM inside Ballroom B of the UNM Student Union Building at 5:30 p.m.
The book will be available for purchase. A free download is available here.