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Emma Lazarus Project

The Emma Lazarus Project explores the story of Emma Lazarus, a fifth-generation American Jew caught in an important turning point in American and Jewish History. The initiative—including an exhibit, curriculum and poetry contest—uses primary sources straight from the archive to encourage students to piece together Emma’s fascinating story, and to join the ongoing conversation about American identity.

As Lady Liberty Looks Around

by Everett Arellano

Middle School



As Lady Liberty looks around,
She realizes what the nation is all about,
Murder, discrimination, war all throughout,
A divided nation where politicians fight for power,
Where the rich get richer upon every hour,
She sees the immigrants turned away,
As the flag of freedom ironically sways,
She looks at all the bad things happening that make her disgusted,
Then she sees the progress and the good things that make her proud,
The people flying, soaring among the clouds,
As she recalls the history of her land,
She realizes she has reached out her hand,
To help provide a light against the darkness,
At the end of the tunnel she sees hope and opportunity,
Though many have died, they fought for their rights,
For future generations to come, so they can reach new heights,
And she silently smiles and knows that the people have done good,
And even though there is always hate, greed, and sin,
It’s what the people do next that matters, that counts from within.