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WVIA-TV to air 'The Voices Project: Immigration' Documentary

WVIA-TV to air 'The Voices Project: Immigration' Documentary

Misericordia University students and faculty will be featured on WVIA-TV in the premiere documentary, "The Voices Project: Immigration," on Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. The film chronicles a classroom and advocacy project designed to promote understanding and reduce the stigma of race and immigrants. The film will also air on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 p.m and is recommended for mature audiences.

Voices Project Immigration Group Photo

"The Voices Project: Immigration" was a year-long visual and storytelling project conducted at Misericordia University by Alicia Nordstrom, Ph.D., professor and chairperson of the psychology department and her students.  Over the past year year, over 60 students at Misericordia University interviewed first and second-generation immigrants, refugees, and DACA recipients. The students used different media arts forms such as videos, podcasts, poetry, memoirs, and letters as a way for others to experience the stories of the interviewees. These students also participated in classes with Allan Austin, Ph.D., professor of history and Patrick Hamilton, Ph.D., professor and chairperson of the English department, to examine the topic of immigration from historical, and literary perspectives as well as the psychological aspects.

Nordstrom explains how she views the arts as a social justice mechanism. “This classroom assignment ripples out into society and changes people’s attitudes.” Nordstrom published a book earlier this year that describes how the stories written by her students have reduced racism and mental health stigma in story listeners.  Her book, Innovative Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Programs Across the World, was co-edited by Dr. Wind Goodfriend and shows her passion for teaching students about how stereotypes and prejudice develop.  “Just one story can shatter what we think we know about a group of people.  You need to touch and feel that emotion.”  The stories range from all different walks of life and touch on the emotions good and bad that are related to immigrants and their stories.

The documentary is close to an hour and captures the actual stories of the immigrants that Misericordia students interviewed. In the documentary, Misericordia’s Art Gallery Director, Lalaine Little, Ph.D., shares her family’s immigration story and Filipino heritage. Little and Nordstrom collaborated on the Voices: Immigration art exhibit last year and Little shared her story onstage as part of the 80 Minutes Around the World storytelling show that appears in the documentary.  A very moving story was expressed by Misericordia student Kevin Amaya from Scranton, PA about the sacrifices made by his family to escape violence from their home country of El Salvador.

Nordstrom is a child clinical psychologist who joined the Misericordia University faculty in 2004. She resides near Hazleton, PA with her husband and son. She has also co-authored several book chapters in the field of psychology. She obtained her master’s degree from Purdue University and her Ph.D. in psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, as well as the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, all divisions of the American Psychological Association.

For more information about the Department of Psychology or The Voices Project at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or visit the psychology website. If you would like to purchase Dr. Nordstrom’s book on these topics use this link by clicking here!