International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Transcript: Interview with Sarah Wayne Callies,


Sarah Wayne Callies visits students in an IRC education program in Atlanta
Actress and IRC Voice Sarah Wayne Callies visits students from the International Rescue Committee's Youth Futures after school program in Atlanta. (Photo: Joeff Davis)

Interview with Sarah Wayne Callies, teaser from season 2 of ‘The Walking Dead’ - Story posted by Rodney Ho, Atlanta Journal Consitution, June 23, 2011  

Partial transcript of  accompanying video. Transcript thanks to volunteer Andrea Stewart:

Rodney – Okay, this is Rodney Ho with I’m here at Katmandu Kitchen and Grill here in Clarkston, GA and I’m here with Sarah Wayne Callies.  She is, if you are a “Prison Break” fan you remember her as Sarah Tancretti, if you are a “Walking Dead” fan; Laurie Grimes.  And you are here in Atlanta, why? What brings you here to Atlanta?  Tell us a little about IRC.

Sarah – Well I’m here shooting the second season of “Walking Dead” and I’m here as a voice of the IRC taking a look at the Atlanta operations.  It’s a resettlement center, so there are refugees from all over the world.  I think this is one of the most diverse resettlement centers.

Rodney – Yes.  Who have you gotten to meet?  What people?  People from what countries have you gotten to meet this morning?

Sarah – All over.  Let’s see, we were at the house of a family from Afghanistan, we were at the house of a family from Congo.  I met a bunch of people at the Women’s Language Class from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Butan, Burma.  Those were the women at my table.  I think there are refugees here from Somalia.  And I believe there are there’s someone from North Korea, there’s Chinese; anywhere there’s a need for someone to be resettled.

Rodney – As a voice, what is your role for the International Refugee Committee?

Sarah – I think for the moment my role as a voice for the IRC is to help divest them of some of their modesty.  They have been doing such incredible work for so long.  They were founded in 1933 at the suggestion of Albert Einstein.  Among the first people who founded the organization that became the IRC was Diego Rivera. They have been doing amazing work.  They have been getting people from harm to home, which is their slogan, for an incredibly long time and they are great at what they do, yet they are one of the best kept secrets in the U.S. non-profit community.  And what I would like to do is get more people involved.  Obviously people donating money, but also donating time to do English as second language job skills, you know my husband is tutoring with them.

Rodney – How did you even hear about them?

Sarah – I heard about them for the first time when I had just moved to New York.  My husband was looking for a summer job, because he was teaching, and he came across the position for the IRC in the (can’t understand what she says here) and we were sort of enthralled, and so we just took a look at what they were doing and we just felt this was the kind of work that we really wanted to be involved in.

Rodney – So you’ve been volunteering for quite a long time with them?

Sarah – Volunteering and donating for quite a long time.  You know my grandfather was a refugee.  He came to this country as a refugee.  At the time that he came, the IRC did not exist in the U.S. and he got into a whole pack of trouble.  It took him about a dozen years to land on his feet.  And I think about organizations like this that help form a bridge between the devastation and the loss and the grief that people are experiencing where they have always called home and the alienation and the adjustment and confusion of the new home in the U.S.  The IRC is a bridge.  And my grandfather…

Rodney –  Yeah, being born here you almost can’t even imagine the upheaval.

Sarah – I don’t think you can.  And that’s a great blessing.

Rodney – And it’s so different from when people voluntarily emigrate here.  You know, it’s a different situation.

Sarah – Yeah.  It’s one thing to choose to leave your country, and it’s another for your country to say you are no longer welcome there, and that if you stay you and your family will be tortured or murdered or marginalized.

Rodney – That’s just awful. Yeah.

Sarah – I can’t quite wrap my head around that, yet the closest I can come is, you know oddly, I’m working on the “Walking Dead” right now.

Rodney – Yes, it is an odd plot line.  Because effectively, yeah, you are a refugee in your own country because you are being massacred by zombies.  Which is amusing in a weird sense, but…

Sarah – Yes, it’s so easy to make a joke out of it, but you sort of want to be careful about it.  It’s true.  These are people, who, their government has fallen, there’s no religious institutions, there’s not charitable institutions, there’s no one they can depend on.  Their children are in constant danger and that’s our job to sort of make believe that that’s true, and yet that is the reality for millions of people around the world.  For those of us born in a place like this, the United States, where we are so fortunate to not have those concerns, it just sort of makes sense to me to kind of reach a hand out.

You can watch the full video interview on here