Follow Us:

Passages: Stories of St. Louis Immigrants & Immigration

Dedicated to Ann Manry Rynearson, PhD

These stories are a living memorial to clients, volunteers, and friends of the International Institute of St. Louis. They celebrate the personal stories of resilient newcomers, who share their struggles and successes in adapting to a new life in America’s Heartland.

Statistics do not tell the story of immigration. People do. Since its inception, St. Louis has been continually infused with the energy of immigrant newcomers. Yet their assimilation has seldom been smooth. The challenges we face today are not new. In these stories we learn how different and yet the same we all are.

We have engaged interns and other volunteers in preparing immigrant stories that highlight shared values and behaviors among all people, regardless of race, color, or creed.  Join us today in strengthening community connections, transforming hearts and minds, and advancing welcoming policy legislation.


Ann Manry Rynearson, PhD, dedicated her 30-year career with the International Institute to many traditional and ethnic arts projects of local and national acclaim.  One of her most impactful efforts was the development of an oral history collection, which records the stories of St. Louis immigrants and refugees from the far and more recent past. The Passages Project links the old with the new, sharing culture and memories. (Above photo) Ann Rynearson (center) travels to Laos with production team to film “Mone’s Skirt.”