Media Advisory: Filmmakers tell story of refugee resettlement in Greensboro

The struggles of refugees are often seen as a distant problem. What the citizens of Greensboro and other cities around North Carolina often fail to realize is that these displaced persons are our neighbors.

“The One Who Builds” is a half-hour movie produced by documentary film students Peter Carolla, Nick Gooler and Hillary Pierce, about the life and work of Omer Omer — once a Sudanese refugee, now an American citizen — who lives and works in Greensboro as executive director of African Services Coalition.

Nearly 8,000 of Greensboro’s 270,000 citizens are refugees, people who have been forced to flee their homelands to start a new life in America. And each year, Guilford County becomes home to 500 new refugees.

Often forced to flee quickly, refugees arrive in Greensboro without records of the degrees and certifications earned in Africa that would help them find jobs in their new home. Leaving behind family, they lose the cultural stability of daily life and the support that aunts, uncles and grandparents offer in caring for children while parents work. In a slow economy, the challenges of limited English skills and difficulty with transportation make resettlement even more difficult.

“The One Who Builds” highlights Omer Omer’s ability to bridge ethnic and religious differences to help African refugees overcome these challenges while connecting them with one another and with their neighbors.

“The One Who Builds,” will be screened Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at UNC-Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business Auditorium (Room 160). The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers and Omer Omer. The event is free and open to the public.

Carolla, Gooler and Pierce are available for television morning shows and radio to talk about the making of the film and their personal experiences meeting with refugees and learning about the challenges they face.


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Categories: Media Advisory