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Telescope: China | INCLUDED

July 7, 2014
– By James Elaine
INCLUDED, a nonprofit organization formerly known as Compassion for Migrant Children, recently opened an outdoor exhibition in Sanlitun, an upscale prime shopping center area in Beijing. Stephen Gleadow, a U.S. artist and friend, and the creative director for the INCLUDED exhibition, invited me to come see this very beautiful and moving show right before I left for the U.S.

“Migrant exclusion is a huge issue in cities all over China and all around the world,” says , Jonathan Hursh, executive director and founder of INCLUDED. “We see a world where one day, we’re all included.”

INCLUDED’S interactive multimedia exhibit entitled The Migrant Journey combines experiential graphic design and powerful narrative to illustrate migrants’ role and contribution in China’s development. Visitors walking through the carefully designed shipping containers can explore different perspectives on urbanization and migration, from the macroeconomic forces that drive the movement of rural dwellers to cities to the personal decisions each migrant faces. The aim of the exhibition is to increase peoples’ understanding and appreciation for migrants’ contributions and sacrifices, and spur an increase in support for the integration of migrants into urban society. When migrants are included, our cities are better for everyone.

INCLUDED’s ultimate goal is to create a globally interconnected network of 100 community centers, currently 27 centers strong, in ten cities. They are pioneering solutions for integrating migrants into urban communities here in China that are being adopted in migrant slums all over the world.

By the end of the INCLUDED exposition’s short 10 day run over 22,000 people attended.