NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Central Standard

How We Got Here


"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Those are words etched on the Statue of Liberty, an icon of our nation's immigrant heritage. But its message barely skims the surface of the various reasons why people migrate to the United States. Today, we dive deeper by listening to Americans — with roots from across the globe — share their personal stories about how they got here.


  • Nabil Haddad, owner, Winstead's
  • Ilya Papinako, KC resident, immigrant from Russia
  • Lisandra Garcia, DACA student, pre-law at KCK Community College
  • Sara Pitia, KC resident, refugee from Sudan
  • Sylvia Maria Gross, senior producer, Central Standard

Gina Kaufmann is the host of Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann. You can reach her on Twitter, @GinaKCUR.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer and now is the Media Training Manager with America Amplified. You can reach him at, or on Twitter.
Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.