Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

S5E6: Lorna Solis

Lorna Solis is the founder and CEO of Blue Rose Compass, a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving gifted young refugees the opportunity to develop their talents.

The first student Solis helped was Abbas, a Somali refugee who attended Princeton in 2005, but her mission has become harder to fulfill since the war in Syria has changed the public perception of refugees — a word that, she says, that has been distorted:
Refugee is a status, it's not your identity. You have a refugee status and then it's gone the moment you are resettled or you are in a new society and you have the right paperwork. But politicians have made it that it's become someone's identity.… I mean, it is a branding issue. That they've taken it and just abused that word.

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Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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