“A Home Called Nebraska” screened Nov. 17 at The World Theatre

By TODD GOTTULA, UNK Communications

KEARNEY – A screening of “A Home Called Nebraska” is being shown as part of the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s International Education Week celebration.

The award-winning documentary, produced and directed by Colorado-based film makers George and Beth Gage, spotlights refugees who escaped war, torture and persecution to build a new life in the Midwest.

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at The World Theatre in Kearney. Lutheran Family Services President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Tonniges will welcome those in attendance, and a panel discussion on refugee settlement will follow. The documentary is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted.

“This film is particularly valuable as it shows the real plight of refugees and what those of us here in Nebraska can do to help them,” said Carol Lilly, director of international studies. “Just one look into the life of a refugee is a great reminder of how fortunate most of us are on a global scale and how important and rewarding it can be to help others.”

The event is co-hosted by UNK’s International Studies Program and Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, which is developing a new partnership that will focus on efforts to resettle and support refugees in central Nebraska.

“This film showing is the first step in a broader collaboration among the International Studies Program, UNK and Lutheran Family Services,” Lilly said. “It will provide our students with experiential learning opportunities as they also find out about the lives and experiences of individuals and cultures outside the United States.”

In 2016, Nebraska resettled more refugees per capita than any other state. “A Home Called Nebraska” documents Midwest welcome, acceptance and unlikely friendships during a time of national anxiety and emboldened bigotry.

The documentary introduces the generous Nebraskans who welcomed them, taught them, celebrated with them, and helped them find jobs and houses. Today these refugees are succeeding and giving back to the communities that supported them.

“For decades, LFS has led Nebraska in welcoming and resettling refugees – mothers, fathers and children fleeing wars, persecution and unimaginable human rights abuses. We are thrilled to expand into central Nebraska and share the film ‘A Home Called Nebraska’ with the Kearney community,” said Tonniges.

“Across the state, our neighbors understand the imperative to welcome the stranger and help those who have lost everything rebuild their lives in safety, hope and wellbeing. We are looking forward to sharing this experience in partnership with UNK.”

In addition to the film screening, a panel will be hosted at 4 p.m. Nov. 16 at UNK’s Copeland Hall room 130. “Refugees: A Problem or an Opportunity?” will include three presentations by UNK faculty. They include:

  • “The Refugee Crisis: What the World Can and Should Do About It” – Chuck Rowling, Department of Political Science
  • “On Reading Refugee Writers” – Janet Graham, Department of English
  • “Lessons in Leadership from Middle Eastern and North African Refugee Women” – Tiffani Luethke, Department of Communication

The Global Student Association will also host its Cultural Fashion Show at 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Nebraskan Student Union. International Education Weekends Nov. 17-18 with several in-class presentations from staff with Lutheran Family Services.

UNK International Education Week

Nov. 12, 4 to 6 p.m. – Faculty & Staff Club (Alumni House)

Nov. 14, 4 to 6 p.m. – Scott D. Morris International Food and Cultural Festival (Health and Sports Center)

Nov. 16, 4 to 5 p.m. – “Refugees: A Problem or an Opportunity?” panel presentation (Copeland Hall 130)

  • “The Refugee Crisis: What the World Can and Should Do About It” – Chuck Rowling, Department of Political Science
  • “On Reading Refugee Writers” – Janet Graham, Department of English
  • “Lessons in Leadership from Middle Eastern and North African Refugee Women” – Tiffani Luethke, Department of Communication

Nov. 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Cultural Fashion Shown (Nebraskan Student Union, Ponderosa Room)

Nov. 17, 3 to 5 p.m. – Study Abroad Information Session (Ockinga Auditorium)

Nov. 17, 7 to 8:15 p.m. – “A Home Called Nebraska,” followed by Refugee Settlement panel discussion (The World Theatre, 2318 Central Ave.)

Nov. 17, All Day – Class presentations by staff from Lutheran Family Services

Nov. 18, All Day – Class presentations by staff from Lutheran Family Services

Categories: Community Services, LFS in the News, Press, Refugees