NPT visits Rwanda, Haiti and Burma neighbors in Nashville

The Gatebuke family survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They now live in Nashville and work to help others from the troubled African region. Alice Gatebuke is a columnist for the Huffington Post.

The Gatebuke family survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They now live in Nashville and work to help others from the troubled African region. Alice Gatebuke is a columnist for the Huffington Post.

Next Door Neighbors: ‘New Beginnings,’ the newest episode of NPT’s Next Door Neighbors series, premieres Friday, November 7 at 7 pm on NPT.

For the past eight years, episodes have highlighted Nashville’s Kurdish, Somali, Hispanic, Bhutanese and Sudanese communities. This time viewers will meet Nashville’s neighbors from Rwanda, Haiti and Burma. These three small countries hold big challenges for their residents. Following the premiere, NPT will also broadcast last year’s installment in the Next Door Neighbors series, ‘Community.’

Refugee resettlement to the United States is often the last option displaced people have for a permanent home. The opportunity is available to less than one percent of the world’s refugees. Once in the U.S., in cities like Nashville, refugees are expected to build new lives. But what if a chance to go back to their homeland finally arrives? Which home will they choose? In three segments during the 30-minute documentary, host Danielle Colburn Allen explores why these neighbors of ours left their native countries behind and set out to make a new beginning in Nashville.

NPT’s award-winning Next Door Neighbors series looks at Nashville’s status as a destination city for refugees and immigrants and explores the rich diversity of people now calling Nashville home. Across the United States, mid-sized cities like Nashville are experiencing unprecedented growth in their international populations.

Together these communities are redefining the traditional international city on a smaller local scale.
Next Door Neighbors is much more than the documentary series. It also includes in-depth web content, public community forums, a televised panel discussion after the premiere of each program and literacy outreach for children and parents of immigrant families.

This extensive effort has played a key role in sharing authentic stories of immigrants and helping build bridges between their communities and Middle Tennessee’s traditional culture. Through this project, NPT has helped grow a welcoming of diversity while focusing on the many ways that new immigrants are contributing to Nashville’s growing economy and vibrant cultural life.

Next Door Neighbors: ‘New Beginnings’ is made possible by the financial support of The Nissan Foundation, The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals, and a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A partnership with the Vanderbilt University Center for Nashville Studies provided valuable research and community outreach.