Kylie McGovern, Editor
On Nov. 15, 28 refugees from El Paso, TX arrived at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. La Salle Alum and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney explained that the City of Brotherly Love will accept these migrants with open arms. He explained, “we’ve welcomed tens of thousands of Afghans, and Ukrainians, and if you go back into our city’s history, every ethnic group that is here came as refugees for the most part, and these folks are no different…we have human dignity, decency, and the responsibility to make their transition as smooth as possible, that’s what this country is all about.” When these migrants arrived at 30th Street they were greeted with a SEPTA bus, food, water and healthcare if necessary.
On Monday, Nov. 20, more migrants arrived in Philadelphia. This time, 46 people seeking asylum arrived after their 40-hour journey. Advocates explain that these migrants who got off the bus are in the asylum process and not breaking any rules regarding immigration/refugee procedures.
Although various organizations and advocacy groups are committed to helping migrants arriving in Philadelphia, this sentiment extends to the classroom here at La Salle University in a Communication and Culture class which focuses on the reciprocal link between communication and culture by examining how communication practices create, reflect, and maintain cultures, as well as how culture influences communication practice. Recently, Katie Dunleavy, Ph.D. ‘s Communication and Culture class completed an assignment that entailed writing a letter to an elected official on behalf of a micro-culture about a certain issue. These micro-cultures ranged from various groups like homelessness, people with disabilities and refugees. Many students decided to write on behalf of refugees in various cities. This assignment entailed both a written letter to an elected official and a presentation. In this presentation, students took various approaches to explain the importance of the issue. Some explained the data regarding how sanctuary cities help the arriving migrants, while others related to the issue on a more personal level by explaining similar situations either they went through or family members experienced. After the assignments were complete, Dunleavy provided feedback to students and encouraged them to send their advocacy letters to the elected officials they wrote to. Overall, both the City of Philadelphia and La Salle University students are in tune with supporting arriving refugees.