Spring 2018: I just learned that I won the Pulitzer Prize — along with my friend and illustrator, Michael Solan — for our comic, Welcome to the New World, in the New York Times. The comic followed the true story of a family of Syrian refugees, who landed in the U.S. on Election Day. Michael and I are both kind of in shock at this news. We’re so grateful to so many people — most of all the two remarkable families who let us chronicle their lives.
The subjects of my comic – Jamil & Ammar’s families – were lucky to escape the Syrian Civil War with their lives. There are so many other families that need help even more urgently. If you were moved by any of my stories, here are three wonderful places that you can support and make a difference:
The first place is IRIS. This is the refugee re-settlement agency that helped Jamil & Ammar settle in the United States. It is run by a generous, charismatic and devoted staff. They get their support from small donors. Here is the link to the website.
The second place is in my hometown of Buffalo. I wrote a long story for the New Yorker about a place called Vive that helps political asylum seekers. You can click here to read that article. This place is a tribute to Buffalo. It has helped 40,000 political asylum seekers over the last few decades. They too need our support to survive. Here is the link to their website.
The third is HIAS. This is the agency that helped my family after World War 2 and they still do wonderful work. Click here to visit HIAS.
These are challenging times for a great many people – folks like Jamil & Ammar – who just want the same thing that all of us want, safety, a better life for their kids, and a shot at a bit of happiness.
With gratitude -- Jake