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'Finding American' compiles stories and images of immigrants from all 50 states

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Over two hundred immigrants who each have their unique journey to settling in all 50 United States are featured in the book Finding American.

After seeing increasingly hostile views of immigrants that arose during the 2016 presidential election, Canadian photographer Colin Boyd Shafer decided to cross the border to find immigrants living in each of the 50 states, to interview and photograph.

Several years later, this project has culminated in the book Finding American: Stories of Immigration from All 50 States. Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with Shafer about the personal experiences shared in the book. Three Iowans who were featured also join the conversation.


  • Colin Boyd Shafer, documentary photographer and teacher
  • Pom Kavan, Des Moines resident
  • Emilia Marroquin, Storm Lake resident
  • Miriam Alarcon Avila, Tiffin resident
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.