Where We Are From

Where We Are From began in 2019 as a way to encourage seventh-grade students to think about the histories of migration and immigration in Santa Barbara and how their own personal experiences fit into those histories. Over the course of a half-day site visit to El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, students participated in activities that asked them to consider the meanings of home and belonging. 

Where We Are From is a collaboration between the California State Parks' History & Relevancy Project, UCSB's Public History program, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, and Santa Barbara Middle School. This program has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Students were introduced to terms and concepts, such as those above, throughout the week-long program.

Past Student Work

In 2019, students created and recorded their own versions of George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem. We collected and edited these poems together to make a big collaborative version.

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In 2020, students were introduced to two examples of migration: the historical case of the Spanish soldados’ eighteenth-century journey from Mexico to what is today Santa Barbara, and contemporary case of migrants crossing the southern border on foot in search of a better life. In both cases, students viewed and discussed important things that the migrants brought with them. Then, students were asked to think about what they would bring with them if they had to make such a journey. Pictured above is one such example, to view more - click below >>