Coming to the Heartland

Students in class listening to a presentation

"Coming to the Heartland: Intergenerational Stories of Latin American and African Migration to Kansas" is an engaged research and community programming initiative that uses the power of stories to connect immigrant communities in Kansas, including Wichita, Topeka, Kansas City, Garden City, and Dodge City. In these five cities and across the midwest, demographic changes due to immigration over the last decade have dramatically shifted the number of African and Latinx people in the region, especially from Senegal, Somalia, and Mexico. Through storytelling, Coming to the Heartland is hoping to digitally document the lived experiences of migration in this region and is working to bridge cultural gaps between generations and national identities. The project is led by Elizabeth MacGonagle, associate professor of history and African and American Studies and former director of the Kansas African Studies Center, and Marta Caminero-Santangelo, professor of English and director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. MacGonagle and Caminero-Santangelo also work with an interdisciplinary project team of faculty, staff, and students.