This week, the first episode of The Off Ramp Podcast went live on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. This project had been in the works but was delayed due to everything from sinus infections to unsafe winds. Long story. Suffice it to say, we are excited it is now in the world!
What makes our podcast different from every other current events podcast out there? The difference is two-fold. First, we will approach current events from the perspective of migration and immigration. How does this affect migration trends and patterns? What does this mean for those who are already displaced? Will this result in the displacement of more individuals and families around the world? These are questions we will ask as we connect with experts and leaders and on-the-ground ambassadors.
Second, we will ensure our listeners feel empowered to act. Our tagline is "Become a change-maker" for a reason. We know what it's like to feel helpless when faced with the magnitude of the world's problems. We believe, however, that we—you!—are able to enact real change in the world. Our purpose—at The Off Ramp and through this podcast—is to educate our constituents on the realities of displacement and to help them help others.
In this first episode, we interview Sophie Albert from The Alliance for Multicultural Community Services in Houston, Texas. We talk about everything from the difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker to the effects of Gov. Abbott's refusal to allow refugee resettlement in Texas and how you can help a refugee family in your neighborhood.
Between the time of recording and the release of this episode, the legality of Gov. Abbott's decision was called into question. From Sophie: "Since we recorded this podcast, we have heard exciting news: After three national refugee resettlement agencies had filed a lawsuit in response to executive order 13888, a federal judge ruled that local and state officials won't be able to block refugee resettlement and that the executive order is temporarily halted. We will watch further developments closely and will keep working with our local and national partners on advocacy efforts to ensure that Texas will continue to welcome refugees."