Women of the World

A Photographic Journey of New Americans in the Mahoning Valley

The U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 2009 reveals that although immigrants continue to arrive in the United States from Europe, their numbers have significantly declined.  At the same time, there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of “new” immigrants arriving from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.  For example, 75 percent of the foreign born who entered the United States prior to 1980 listed a European country as their place of birth compared to only 8.9% who arrived from Europe in 2000 or later. On the other hand, prior to 1980, while 9.4% percent of the foreign born were from  Latin America, that number rose to 53.1% who entered the United States in 2000 or later, and for Asians, the percentage rose from 5.1 prior to 1980 to 27.7% in 2000 or later. For foreign-born residents from Africa, the percentage increased from 1.8% who entered the United States prior to 1980 to 5.9% for the period 2000 or later.

The changing patterns of the foreign born population in the United States are reflected in changes in the Mahoning Valley.  Census data reveal that  58.8% of the foreign born in the Mahoning Valley prior to 1990 were from countries in Europe compared to only 25.2% who came to the Valley in 2000 or later. While 21.7% of the foreign born who arrived in the Mahoning Valley prior to 1990 came from Asian countries, that number increased to 35.8% in 2000 and later.  Likewise, of the foreign born who entered prior to 1990, 12.7% were from Latin America, and that number increased to 33.1% for the period 2000 and later.

This exhibit of photographs of women from all parts of the world reflects the changing patterns in the foreign-born population in the Mahoning Valley.  The women represent the homelands of: China; Ethiopia; France; India; Indonesia; Lebanon; Liberia; Malaysia; Mexico; Palestine; Peru; Russia; Syria; Ukraine; and Vietnam.  The photographs in this exhibit invite us to become acquainted with our immigrant neighbors and to welcome them into our community.

Click here to watch the video presentation.

The photographer for the exhibit is Maria Bleahu.

The video presentation was designed and created by Launa Buettell, Mainstream Music & Video, Canton Ohio.

Interviews of the women were conducted by Rosemary D’Apolito from the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Gerontology at Youngstown State University.

Individual Profiles:

Amal Ilain

Ana Bobby

Anita Gomez

Delphine Brunet

Doreen Taylor

Elizabeth Ayana

Ely Pugh

Gloria De Los Santos

Hennie Widyastuti-Suter

Irina Perlman

Jiang Qi

Julie Thomas

Lisa Hollander

Maguy Chammas

Musu Welwolie

Rena Mansour

Wadad El Chamas

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