Media CenterNashville Photographer, Jeremy Cowart, Teams Up with CRS for "Be Unafraid" Traveling Photo Exhibit

Photo by Philip Laubner/CRS

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Megan Gilbert
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(443) 825-3640


Cowart’s Portraits Aim to Spark Critical Conversations about Refugees in America
Be Unafraid Media Kit



As the Administration places a record low limit on refugee admissions to the U.S., a timely campaign explores the reasons why the issue of immigration and refugee asylum has transformed into such an explosive and polarized debate. “Be Unafraid,” a traveling photo exhibit featuring the portraits and stories of refugees and non-refugee Americans, addresses one of the main barriers to acceptance: fear. The exhibit is coming to Nashville Oct. 27.

Be Unafraid is aimed at sparking critical conversations in our communities between immigrants, refugees and Americans. Visitors of the exhibit can enjoy free coffee while hearing from Cowart, explore a refugee settlement through virtual reality glasses and enter to win an ethical trade gift basket.

In the last five years, Tennessee has resettled close to 7,600 refugees, more than 32 other states. For the last two years the number of refugee resettlements has gone down in Tennessee, while the number of refugees around the world continues to reach record levels. This year, the state is on pace to resettle fewer than 500 refugees, its lowest since 2002.

Catholic Relief Services has partnered with award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart to create the exhibit. After debuting in Baltimore this summer, Nashville will be the third of several stops.

“I would have imagined that before this photo shoot [the participants] would have never imagined themselves standing in front of a camera and smiling with a refugee,” Cowart said. “It was beautiful. It's really a truly fulfilling project to work on.”



Jeremy Cowart, award-winning photographer and Nashville resident



Saturday, October 27, 2018
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.



Pinewood Social
33 Peabody St, Nashville, TN 37210



The “Be Unafraid” traveling photo exhibit features portraits and stories - on the side of a box truck – that show the reactions of Americans and refugees during two days of discussing their fears and hopes for the future. “I think some Americans agree that [refugees] are invading our land, or they're coming and they're taking away certain rights or privileges that we should be getting,” said Sandra Jones, a medical assistant from Nashville. “[This experience] has opened my eyes a little better, and it opened my heart. Because I need to respect, love, treat everyone the same.”

Jeremy Cowart, who photographed the participants over two days in Nashville, TN, was named the “Most Influential Photographer on the Internet” by Huffington Post, Forbes and Yahoo in 2014. The “Be Unafraid” exhibit is part of the global Share the Journey campaign, which Pope Francis launched in September 2017 as a way to draw attention to the plight of migrants and refugees around the world and encourage people to “welcome the stranger.” The U.S. portion of the campaign is supported by Catholic Relief Services, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Catholic Charities USA.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Tags: Refugees