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I felt like I was part of a community and I could fully be myself.

Project 3




Coming in September 2020


19 min.


Francisco Alcala
Alejandra Alcala
Patti Bartelstein
Justin Maxon
Athan Merrick
Chema Mumford
Bad Owl Music
Doug Hewitt
Julie Richter
Angèlica Ekeke
Suzanne Alberga

Made possible by

Doug Tsui
Vanessa Lam


This short documentary follows Tennessee native, Doug Hewitt, as he learns about the complexity of refugee resettlement. In order to offer refugees and asylum seekers much-needed support as they build a new home in the United States, Doug turns to the coffee industry to build a launchpad towards a path of self-sufficiency, and starts nonprofit 1951 Coffee Company, providing barista training and employment for refugees in Berkeley, California. Three graduates from 1951 Coffee’s Barista Training Program share their experiences, revealing their challenges and struggles after resettlement.
A profound friendship unfolds when the four stories converge, highlighting the importance of human connection and community driven support, education, and integration.

In support of 

1951 Coffee Company


San Francisco, California 

Film's impact goal

To reveal the challenges of refugee resettlement in the United States and shine a light on how community driven education and integration can significantly increase the resettlement success. The goal is to engage people, foundations, and social investors to support 1951 Coffee Company programs.
Watch trailer

The Issue

While resettlement in the United States, or obtaining the asylee status sounds like a dream come true, refugees experience major challenges as they transition to their new lives. The issues are many, from the lack of English language proficiency, relevant job skills, and cultural understanding, to the difficulty in receiving recognition for their credentials, as well as discrimination, among others. 
Even though there are U.S. refugee resettlement programs, they generally have limited resources, tight budgets, and their assistance programs have quick timelines that often fall short of a newcomer’s needs. There is a strong case that
expanded education, language learning, and employment programs are needed to ensure a refugee’s access to long-term self-reliance.

About the Solution


1951 Coffee Company
1951 Coffee Company is a nonprofit that runs 3 welcoming coffee shops in the Bay Area, and offers barista training and employment to refugees, providing them with opportunities for dignified jobs, good wages and benefits, and sets them on a path of self-determination, and welcome entries into their new communities. Furthermore, it provides the surrounding communities with a simple way to turn a daily routine — buying a cup of coffee — into a life-altering opportunity for someone in their world. Its name derives from the year that the UNHCR, at the 1951 Refugee Convention, first established guidelines for the protection of refugees. These protections were further expanded in the 1967 Protocols, giving the UNHCR a global mandate.

Time Frame 

ROI Ratio

$1 to $4
Help give a warmer welcome to refugees starting a new life in the U.S.

Take Action

1. Donate to 1951 Coffee Company 
2. Host a Screening
3. Create buzz around the film on Social Media

    Use #NoSingleOrigin.
    Tag @1951coffee and @homestorytellers
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HOME Storytellers combats the global human refugee crisis with heart centered stories, bringing attention to proven  solutions that enable refugee self-reliance.

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