In an effort to raise awareness of the journey, public health effects, and policy implications refugees and immigrants face, we created an interactive game-board mimicking Snakes & Ladders to demonstrate. Our first installation was through UAAO (The United Asian American Organizations) at the University of Michigan outside on one of the busiest common spaces called the "Diag," and our second was at an MRAP (Michigan Refugee Assistance Program) event. This experience is based off stories that are available to read on the internet mostly related to refugees traveling to the US-Mexico border.
We are using the word "game" to demonstrate the chances and opportunities needed and used against individuals. In reality, immigration and refugee struggles are much more serious.
Refugee to border version: draw for a random "family" which can consist of children ages 0-teen, partner. Roll dice and travel. For normal dice, 2-6 correspond to 1-3. Depending on each square landed, facilitators will guide the player through the situation. For example, if player has a baby and has to go through the ocean, their baby could drown. The player may have to make difficult decisions or face health effects. They could be aided in ways depending on their identity. At the end, if they make it, they will be given a citizen ship test to pass. Asylum version: a separate game for the asylum process, which can take up to 5 years and heavily depends on the judge you are given and aid you receive upon arrival to the country.
Immigrant version: this board game mimics a young adult immigrating for school in the United States.