American Dreaming - Define American

American Dreaming

The Roadmap to Resilience
for Undocumented Storytellers

About the Report

American Dreaming: The Roadmap to Resillience for Undocumented Storytellers is the culmination of two years of research with 40 storytellers from the immigrant rights movement who bravely shared their stories through the Obama, Trump, and Biden eras of U.S. history. We acknowledge the strong history of immigrant rights movements in the U.S. and build on the foundation of those that came before us in our examination of the undocumented youth movement of the 21st century.

The research is based on a mixed method study, including: mental health surveys on seven measures, life history interviews, and a digital storytelling workshop. Written in first person plural (i.e. “we”), the report is a composite narrative that reflects salient themes from the study participants. The group were undocumented or formerly undocumented Americans, between the ages of 25-40, who began sharing their stories publicly prior to the announcement of DACA.

The findings are intended as a map for well-being for all those who follow the path of bold storytelling in the immigrant rights movement.

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Key Findings

On average, the storytellers have…

Three pie charts showing 80% moderate to high PTSD, 98% low depression, and 95% high resilience.

As social support increases, resilience increases—

even after controlling for education, income, occupation, age, relationship status, and region.

Two intertwined arrows labeled social support and resilience.

How do undocumented storytellers remain resilient?

This work was made possible thanks to the generous support of the National Geographic Society.

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