Where would we be without immigrants? RefugePoint founder and executive director Sasha Chanoff and Chickadee owner and executive chef John daSilva join host Billy Shore in Boston to discuss the hardships faced by immigrants and refugees and the promise and strength they bring to their new homes. “Refugees do revitalize cities – like Lewiston, Maine, or St. Louis, Missouri – that were on the decline and Somalis and Bosnians moved in and started businesses,” Chanoff explains. “Immigrant workers make up 30% of the workforce [at Chickadee]. If you take away 30% of the workforce in a workforce-depleted industry, the effects would be devastating,” observes daSilva.
Chanoff shares a harrowing tale about rescuing hundreds of massacre survivors in war-torn Congo early in his career. “I was struck viscerally by this idea that if I could play a very small role in helping somebody who had gone through a lot of trauma and terror, and often lost so much in their lives… that was the most important thing I could do,” he says. “These people working for me are just doing the best that they can, working as hard as they can. How could we turn our backs on them? We need them,” concludes daSilva.
Join in this engaging conversation between two guests who share their personal perspectives on how immigrants and refugees make us all stronger.