Amplifying Sanctuary Voices (ASV) is a community-based oral history project centering the stories of Bay Area residents who have come to the U.S. seeking sanctuary. 

ASV stimulates dialogue and creates space in the mainstream political conversation for the diverse voices and experiences of those impacted by policy decisions. 

America’s first sanctuary city: Berkeley’s history of refuge and resistance

Listen to this episode from East Bay Yesterday to learn about the history of the sanctuary movement and EBSC’s ongoing efforts to uphold Berkeley’s legacy as a sanctuary city.

Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to host an event? 
Contact us at

Table of Contents


February 2020: A Journey to Sanctuary — Pilot event for educators and community activists

March – May 2020: Sanctuary Timeline and Oral History exhibit in the UC Berkeley ASUC Student Union: MLK Jr. Building

We were excited and humbled to facilitate our first immersive ASV event on February 27th where we held space and shared live readings of people’s stories of displacement, journey, and sanctuary. The Timeline of the Sanctuary Movement is on display at the UCB ASUC student union through the end of May (second floor near the Sky Bridge) and will be available for future events.


We come into contact with 10,000 refugees and undocumented immigrants every year. Their stories are compelling, demonstrating their courage and resilience as they rebuild their lives.

Oral Histories

Click below for audio clips where our narrators bravely tell their stories, from leaving home to building a new one here in the Bay Area. These are the voices often excluded from our mainstream dialogue. 

Maria’s Story
Immigrating to the U.S. as a child should not stop anyone from being able to achieve their dreams. Hear from Gerardo, a former DACA recipient and EBSC client, about his struggles and successes.
Belvi is a small business owner and has built a life for her family in the Bay Area. After years of living undocumented in the U.S., she received asylum in 2017.
A tech worker and founder of a new mental health nonprofit, Be the Change Health, Victorin is a true role model of our community.
Watch this short video of one of our beloved community activists, Pierre Labossière, speak about the history of EBSC’s involvement with the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund and the Haiti Action Committee.

Timeline of the Sanctuary Movement: 1951-1992

ASV has developed this Timeline to highlight the courage of refugees and activists who have fought tirelessly to protect human rights. Teachers may download the PDF for use in their classrooms. Stay tuned for Part II of the Timeline: 1992 – present. The exhibit is available for display in libraries, museums, and other public spaces.


Now You Hear Us Podcast

ASV in partnership with Youth Unmuted has created Now You Hear Us, a podcast aimed at elevating the voices of youth who have experienced displacement, delving into topics such as art, friendship, identity, migration, and much more. It is created by and with youth who have experienced displacement.

Now You Hear Us Podcast Episode 1


Partner Organizations

ASV is a coalition of community organizations including: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, the Public Service Center at UC Berkeley, Inside the Living Room, Voice of Witness, Youth UnMuted, and 1951 Coffee.


ASV was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, and individual donors and volunteers. 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities or other funders.

Oleg’s Story