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Filtering by Tag: immigrant

A Way Home Together: Stories of the Human Journey

Miranda Shafer

A Way Home Together uses the informal and intimate medium of podcasting to tell personal stories of people on the move, including migrants, refugees and those who have been deeply affected by different cultures. These are stories of the human journey. This is produced for the International Organization for Migration and is part of the TOGETHER campaign.

TOGETHER is a United Nations campaign that promotes respect safety and dignity for migrants and refugees. Launched in September 2016, its aim is to counter the rise in xenophobia and discrimination.

Feet in 2 Worlds: "Maria Cano and Auria Abraham: Creating a Legacy for the Next Generation"

Miranda Shafer

I produced this story for Feet in 2 Worlds. You can hear the original story here.

This summer Maria Cano (aka the Arepa Lady) moved her thriving Colombian street-food business into a storefront in Queens, N.Y., her first brick-and-mortar restaurant. For Cano, 70, it was a measure of hard-won success after selling arepas (cornmeal “pancakes”) from a street cart for more than two decades.

For Auria Abraham, 45, success has come more quickly—she launched her Malaysian sambal business last summer, after working as a jingle producer in the advertising industry for more than a decade. Her unapologetically spicy condiment is already on store shelves throughout New York City, and plans for new products are in the works.

Speaking through a translator, the two women note the importance of using their food businesses to create a legacy—both cultural and financial—for their children.

“It’s been a lot of hard work but it feels very good,” Cano tells Abraham. “The thing that feels the best is to have my kids involved and see them accomplish so much. They picked up the flag and they’re carrying my business.”

See what happens when you bring together female food entrepreneurs from different generations and different ethnic backgrounds to talk about food, business, and flavor.

Audio produced by Miranda Shafer. Translation by Natalia Perlaza. Photos by Lily Chin.

Feet in 2 Worlds: “Karen Tappin: Living a Version of the American Dream”

Miranda Shafer

Karen's story is part of a larger project (by Feet in 2 Worlds) about immigrant business owners and the American Dream. This story was published in April 2014.  

"At the time I didn't think much of it, but I realize now that [my mother] just sort of expected me to be great."—Karen Tappin

Karen Tappin started producing her line of natural hair-care and skin products in her kitchen while working as a high-school history teacher; today, her products, Karen's Body Beautiful are sold nationwide at Target.

Tappin's parents are from Guyana. She got a head start on her entrepreneurial career when her mother asked her, at age 15, to help with the home health-aide agency that she was starting. Karen did all of the research, footwork and paperwork while her mom was at work. The experience gave her the confidence to start her own business in college (preparing care packages) and later Karen's Body Beautiful.