Refugee families
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2018.034.006 Oral History Interview with Joan Maruskin

This oral history focuses on Joan Maruskin, one of the original founders and coordinators of People of the Golden Vision, a group in York, Pennsylvania that advocated for the rights of the Golden Venture refugees. Maruskin is also a staff member of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program. She discusses how she first heard of the Golden Venture detainees, the founding of the People of the Golden Vision and their work, how People of the Golden Vision expanded, and what she believes are the outcomes of her advocacy work. She stresses the important role that the media played in spreading word about the Golden Venture immigrants’ plight and how successful the immigrants went on to become in their respective communities. She also discusses the situation of the Golden Venture women who were detained in New Orleans, Louisiana, and were eventually resettled in Ecuador. She emphasizes the integral role that the Golden Venture immigrants play as productive members of society and contributors to the rich cultural fabric of the United States. She recalls the impact that the organization had on legislative reform. She stresses the importance of reforming family detention, which is tearing families of immigrants apart. Maruskin says that while People of the Golden Vision had a large impact, they were just ordinary citizens who cared about what was happening. She hopes that visitors to the exhibit can see themselves in the stories of the Golden Venture refugees, and that it will inspire the visitors to become advocates for immigrant rights in their own way.

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2018.034.010 Oral History Interview with Zehao Zhou

This oral history focuses on the Chinese American academic Zehao Zhou, as he reflects on how he came to be a translator for the People of the Golden Vision, the challenges of this advocacy work, and how his relationship with the Golden Venture detainees in York County Prison developed. He reminds us of the full humanity of the detainees and gives insight to life in the prison and how the paper folding projects came about. He reflects on the idea of paying forward good deeds and the importance of recognizing the full humanity of everyone, rather than seeing them through the lens of stereotypes. He hopes that visitors to MOCA FOLD exhibit will be able to see the full humanity and diversity of the Golden Venture refugees, their supporters, the People of the Golden Vision, and even the politicians who supported their cause. He hopes that the exhibit will inspire visitors to pay it forward in their own way. He also reflects on the impact that the activism of the Golden Vision has had on his daughter, her generation, and the residents of York, which is still a very conservative place. Daughter of Zehao Zhou, growing up amidst the advocacy of the Golden Vision, has come to the conclusion that being an American is a privilege, but the nation state is also full of discrimination and injustice. These two narratives are not contradictory.