To begin with, I would like to thank Professors Devin Bryson and Emily Adams, who have established a caring relationship with this community. Without their support in a variety of ways, the project would have been impossible. Similarly, the students in French 302—Deana Carnaghi, Courtney Dietz (who also assisted with translating and writing), Jordan Howard, Almiyahou Ngala, Jordan Rambo, Lauren White, Eduardo Zabala—provided invaluable assistance by allowing us to communicate with predominantly French-speaking interviewees. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
Thanks to Melissa Pantier, who wrote the grant, and to The Facing Project, especially our coach, Lori Markum, who gave us guidance. Brooke Gronewold, Katie Bunner, and Bryan Leonard assisted with advertising and marketing, and Brooke designed this book.
The production benefited from the creativity and technical skills of a number of department members. Craig Steenerson and Squire Prince created the scrim, JA Kaufmann helped design and engineer the sound effects, and Tyler Robles generously donated his time to creating and executing the lighting design.
Thank you to my first-year seminar students—idea generators, writers, editors, and co- creators of the production: Joselynn Allen, Alexa Brant, Mark Brown, Noe Cornejo, Joanna Cross, Brendan Curtis, Mason Durdel, Sierra Gallegos, Willem Kline, Yuhua Li, John-Christian Moore, Lauren Mulaceck, Nick Nelson, Riley Pierce, Aimee Romo, Gloria Ross, Makenzie Simmons, Michael Soracco, and Josh Wilcox. In addition, Michael Shereda played the French instructor.
Many thanks to the African students who joined us to portray the Congolese: Adwoa Anima Addo, McAbraham (Mac) Appiah-Kubi, Akua Biaa Adu, Oluwasubomi (Subomi) Olusola, Hateeyat Salifu, Rachel Sefah, and Jeffery Tawiah. They added enormously to the credibility and power of the performance.
I’m also appreciative of the (anonymous) Congolese woman who opens her home to new immigrants wanting to learn English and who similarly opened her home to me and my students. Thanks also to Rodrigue at the Congolese Baptist Church, who generously translated the service into English for us and was very gracious and welcoming.
And finally, I’m grateful to the Congolese who consented to be interviewed: Andre, Aicha, Cephas (who also performed in the play), Didier, Erno, Michel, and one anonymous participant. They took precious free time on a Sunday—the only day most of them have to spend with their families and take care of the rest of their lives—to share their experiences with us. We were enormously enriched by this gift.