What if we embraced refugees and their daughters as American girls?
What if the American Girl Company embraced a refugee girl as an American girl?
While this project is in no way affiliated with the American Girl Company, we believe the American Girl Company has a unique platform for modelling compassion and curiosity to American girls of today by sharing the stories of modern day refugee girls.
As lovers of the American Girl dolls and stories ourselves, we would love to see the American Girl Company tell a modern day story of a refugee girl settling in the US. To that end, we have put together three proof-of-concept refugee girl profiles. Please take a look and show your support by signing our petition.
What can we learn from stories of refugee girls in America?
To quote the American Girl company, “Character is everything.” Included are “honesty, courage, kindness and compassion” as the virtues they wish to instill in American girls today. The stories of refugees today who have resettled in the United States exhibit all these virtues and more: they also invite curiosity. What is it like arriving as a refugee? What does it mean to be American? Do they become American? Why did they come? Can we be friends? Their experiences of hardship including war, persecution, forced displacement, not to mention the difficulties of adopting a new country and language uniquely qualifies them to stand as models of courage, perseverance, and hope from which we could all learn.
What can we learn about ourselves?
Encountering the stories of refugee girls broadens our perspective of the world and teaches humility in understanding our place in it. These refugee girl stories, like the stories of American girls past, both illuminate and participate in our national history - they are part of a bigger story over which no individual has control. The tapestry of our national history is enriched by the many-colored stories of people coming from all over the world to make this country their home in freedom. The American Girl stories would be similarly enriched by describing the experiences of a young refugee girl as she acclimates to life in America.
Is it worth it?
Finally, we benefit from these stories of courage as they overcome adversity, experience suffering, and become friends with others unlike themselves. More vitally, reading these stories creates the capacity for compassion for people who are different from ourselves. These stories that describe the experience of real people allow us the opportunity both to learn from and identify with their journey towards hope, confidence and belonging. Our hope is that American girls of today of all colors and backgrounds would discover themselves and each other through these powerful stories of American refugee girls.
Would you support this project?
We have put together three concept dolls and profiles to demonstrate that the stories of American refugee girls are varied and worth telling. We also want to engage public interest and support for these stories. Would you take a few seconds to sign our Change.org petition to show American Girl that this is an idea that people care about?