Newest Americans



NEWARK, N.J. and NEW YORK, June 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — On Wednesday, July 1st, Newest Americans (, a unique multi-media digital publication dedicated to storytelling from global perspectives, will launch to the online community.

This unprecedented collaboration between Rutgers University–Newark (RU–N), Talking Eyes, and VII Photo, draws from the diverse global populations of Newark, New Jersey, which is home to the most diverse national university in the United States.

Slated to publish three times a year, the inaugural issue of Newest Americans features the work of professional journalists, documentary filmmakers, artists, research faculty and students. Stories are told through video, spoken word, personal blogs, graphic novels and photographs —all reflecting the authentic voices of a blended culture. The Newest Americans project was announced by today by Tim Raphael, director of the Center for Migration and the Global City at RU–N.

“Newark has always been a crucible for the construction of new American identities,” said Raphael. “It is the connective thread that ties these new immigrant journeys to the foundational story of American identity born of migration and transformation.”

“We are exploring the hidden corners of immigrants’ lives and mapping the future of American cities through this project,” said Julie Winokur, executive director of Talking Eyes. “This is an unprecedented collaborative effort by Newark-based professionals and students to capture an authentic portrait of our multifaceted culture. We are excited to share this glimpse into the world of the newest Americans and the vision it provides of our demographic future.”

Newest Americans emanates from Newark, but its stories take us around the world to Nigeria, Syria and back to the U.S.’s own Jim Crow South. The inaugural issue will launch with two ongoing series:

  • American Sueno,” – an unfolding story about Mexico native Marisol Conde-Hernandez, an aspirational undocumented law student who will most likely not be permitted to practice in the U.S. when she earns her degree. Brought to the United States by her parents when she was one year old, she continues to fight her way through the U.S. legal system as she awaits the implementation of President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration.
  • We Came and Stayed” offers a rare and intimate profile of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who provided exclusive access to the producers of the Newest Americans during the early days of his administration. The resulting film and photo essay recounts Baraka’s family journey from rural South Carolina to the seat of power in “Brick City.”


Other features to launch in the inaugural issue of Newest Americans include:

  • Notes For My Homeland – A short film with original music from Malek Jandali, a Syrian-American composer who wrote a song that is so powerful, his parents were beaten in retaliation for its performance.
  • Glass Books: Provisions – A rich compilation of videos, photos, audio and poetry about an art project featuring books made of glass. “Provisions” explores the effects of the seismic change the Great Migration brought to individuals, their families, the city of Newark and the country at large.
  • From Where I Stand –  Audio essays by RU–N students from Nigeria, Egypt and Newark, assessing the challenges and opportunities that present themselves from where they stand.
  • Face of A City – A graphic novel boldly told through the eyes of Alex Yoe, an Asian-American student encountering a new world.
  • Transcendental Latino –  Spoken word poetry by a Honduran-born Iraq War veteran about his family’s immigrant experience.
  • Maid in the USA – A blog from American born Shana Russell, a doctoral student who comes from four generations of domestic workers, urging us to think more deeply about domestic labor, race and immigration.


About Rutgers University–Newark
Rutgers University–Newark (RU–N) is a diverse, urban, public research university that is an anchor institution in New Jersey’s largest city and cultural capital. Nearly 11,500 students are currently enrolled at its 38-acre campus in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School-Newark, Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick, the School of Law-Newark, the School of Criminal Justice, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. An engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility, RU–N has a remarkable legacy of producing high-impact scholarship that is connected to the great questions and challenges of the world. A pivotal strength is that RU–N brings an exceptional diversity of people to this work—students, faculty, staff, and community partners—increasing it innovation, creativity, engagement, and relevance for our time and the times ahead. For more information please visit

About the Center for Migration and the Global City
An incubator for multidisciplinary scholarship, public humanities and civic engagement that addresses the local and global effects of migration, CMGC is based at Rutgers University–Newark, ranked the most ethnically diverse national university by U.S. News & World Report since it first established the category 18 years ago.

About Talking Eyes
A non-profit production company whose work stimulates public dialogue and advocates for positive social change, Talking Eyes is based in Montclair, New Jersey. Talking Eyes has produced films, books and essays that have appeared on the MSNBC, PBS, National Geographic, and Discovery channels, and been featured in The New York Times and many other major media outlets.

About VII Photo
VII Photo represents 20 of the world’s preeminent photojournalists whose careers span 35 years of world history. Renowned for the quality of its photography, the group’s collective archive of more than 100,000 images has been built in collaboration with the world’s leading publications, including Time, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, The Sunday Times Magazine, GEO Germany, Paris Match and Le Monde.

SOURCE Rutgers University — Newark

Read the original press release online here.

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