Currently, immigration dominates our news headlines and politics. Poverty, violence, war, displacement, no work—all can force people to move. These conditions separate many refugees and immigrants from families and friends for long periods of time. They have to navigate cultures, laws, and languages that they don’t know. They start anew in the hope of achieving a better future for themselves and their families. The song “You Belong” reminds us that everyone belongs and deserves the chance to thrive.
Key Lyrics: You belong / The whole world is waiting / No one else can sing your song / You belong / The lie that’s been chasing you / Love’s gonna prove it wrong / Open your eyes / Breathe in the light / You don’t have to hide / You belong
Questions: Visit un.org to learn more about why people may be forced to immigrate. How can you reach out to new students or neighbors different from you? Whose voices in your school or community are others not hearing? When do you listen to the voices of people who appear different from you?
Immigration is a fiery topic today. Some people welcome immigrants; some resist others different from them. This week’s SPIRIT explores how accepting new people and cultures can benefit our communities and schools and expand our relationships with those around us. The song “One of Us” is about celebrating our differences and accepting people into our homes, communities, and lives.
Key lines: Everybody needs a place to call their home / Everybody’s skin is different, not their bones / Even when you’re lonely, know you’re not alone / You’re one of us, one of us, one of us / One of us / Bring the sunshine in / The happy days / The hardship, too / We’ll find a way / So raise your flag / One last time / Before the day is through, I promise you / That we will laugh about it all / And we’ll celebrate the things we’ve done for years to come / ‘Cause that’s what friends, that’s what friends are for
Questions: What challenges do you think immigrants face in new places? What challenges have you faced if you are an immigrant? What do you think helps ease these challenges? What have you learned from people of different cultures? Who do you notice being excluded in your community?
The Syrian refugee crisis and migrant stories at our own borders have pushed immigration issues into our news and politics. Poverty, displacement, and lack of opportunity push people to seek better ways to provide for themselves and their families. Refugees and immigrants are often isolated for long periods of time from the people they love. They live in places where they may not know the laws, culture, or language. They make these sacrifices in the hope of a better future for themselves and the ones they love. They are working to find the paradise where they can live in safety, comfort, and with dignity.
Key Lyrics: When we’re lost in a desert at night / And we’re chasing our paradise / When we can’t fight another fight / We’re gonna make it / You’re my oasis
Questions: Visit the un.org to learn more about the refugee crisis facing the world. How can you reach out to new students or neighbors different from you? How can you get involved and help shoulder some of the humanitarian concerns? Whose voices are not heard in your school or community? How can you ensure that your neighbors’ voices are heard?