Home and the homeland: Chicago’s immigrants keep connecting

Chicago is home to possibly the broadest array of immigrants of any city in the United States. But there’s more to home than where shoes come off and soup simmers. There’s the homeland – the place, the memory, the heritage – and the multiple meanings it has for immigrants.

In a continuing unique collaboration with Chicago area ethnic news media, Immigrant Connect and the Community Media Workshop through its Chicago is Our Home project explored the relationships between immigrants and their homeland.

Fourteen ethnic media outlets collaborated on the project. They are Africa Today, Al-Moustaqbal-Future (Arab), Bulgaria Weekly, Draugas (Lithuanian) , Extra (Hispanic), Fra Noi (Italian), India Tribune, Korea Daily News , Pinoy Newsmagazine (Filipino), Informacje USA and Polsat 2 International (Polish), Reflejos (Hispanic), Reklama (Russian), Serbian Mirror (Ogledalo) and Urdu Times (Pakistani).

Find all our stories below —

Filipino-Americans return to study, work, retire despite ailing medical systemPinoy Newsmagazine

A second take: Indian filmmakers return to the homeland for inspirationIndia Tribune

Finding work: Koreans turn to the homelandKorea Daily News

Bulgarians yearn for a transparent governmentBulgaria Weekly

Hope in Sudan: Rebuilding the homeland from Chicago – Africa Today

New opportunities in the Polish homelandInformacje USA and Polsat 2 International

For the family in Latin America: Financial help from afarExtra

The beguiling American Dream: Serbians redefine homeSerbian Mirror

Following roots: Italian-Americans go back home to retrace their geneologyFra Noi

Back home for Venezuelans, it’s all politicsReflejos

The journey back for young PakistanisUrdu Times

The undefinable homeland: Palestinian-Americans struggle to go backAl-Moustaqbal-Future

Russian youth and the thought of returning homeReklama

The castle west of Midway: Lithuanians recreate the homelandDraugas

The stories were released in December 2010. Each ethnic media outlet addressed an angle that resonated for its own community. For non-English publications, the stories were translated into their respective languages.

Students at Northwestern University and its Medill School of Journalism reported and wrote the stories, while the publishers and editors helped shape the process through their work with Community Media Workshop’s Ethnic News Media Project and Medill’s Immigrant Connect project. The work is supported by grants from The Chicago Community Trust’s Community News Matters project, the McCormick Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation.

This is the third in the continuing partnership linking communities through their ethnic media. The first explored the impact of the 2010 U.S. Census count on their communities. The stories were released simultaneously on Fri., Jan. 15, 2010, in the ethnic media and on Immigrant Connect. Check out the series here – Census stories link diverse immigrant communities

The second explored the relationships between immigrants and their children and discovered that immigrant communities are crossing the generational divide in ways that resonate for one another. They were released simultaneously in June 2010. That series is here – Immigrant communities cross the generational divide together

This is the only effort of this kind today in the U.S. as far as the partners know.

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