GovNews: City of Bloomington Gives Kids an Outlet for Immigration Fears

“This exhibit was created to help immigrant children cope with their anxiety and fear about having their families separated,” said Human Rights Commissioner Nicholas Jenkins. “Hopefully it will foster some community collaboration and understanding that will lead to cultural competence.”

ARTICLE | Aug 29, 2018
City of Bloomington, MN

New exhibit gives local kids an outlet for immigration fears

Bloomington, MN—Many families feel the direct impact of current political discussions and enforcement directives surrounding immigration. For local children who fear their families will be separated by detention or deportation, it can be difficult to deal with the resulting anxiety.

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A group of community members realized that this was having a negative impact on the overall health of children of immigrant families and wanted to do something to help. It started when a pediatrician suggested the group use art to address the children’s distress. Kids were asked to draw or express in words their perception of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the impact it has on their lives.

The resulting art was shared for the first time at a City-facilitated community immigration forum where residents and representatives from local organizations, City staff and the Bloomington School District were present. Bloomington’s Public Health staff also requested the Human Rights Commission include the children's work in its 2018 work plan which went on to receive City Council support and approval. Community members named the exhibit, developed the narrative and selected the artwork to display.

“This exhibit was created to help immigrant children cope with their anxiety and fear about having their families separated,” said Human Rights Commissioner Nicholas Jenkins. “Hopefully it will foster some community collaboration and understanding that will lead to cultural competence.”

Exhibit schedule

  • Bloomington Farmers Market, September 8 
  • Bloomington Civic Plaza, September 9 - October 5 
  • Augsburg Park Library, Richfield, October 22 - November 16 
  • Bloomington Civic Plaza, December 3 - December 21 

This exhibit was made possible by the Bloomington Human Rights Commission, Artistry, the faith community, Public Health, Hennepin County Library and Creative Placemaking.

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Staff contact

Lorinda Pearson
Human Services Manager
952-563-8735
lpearson@bloomingtonmn.gov

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