“Focus: Immigration” series begins Nov. 14

The City of Grand Rapids Human Rights Commission and Itasca Community College are hosting an upcoming two-part series of educational panel presentations, “Focus: Immigration”. The series is intended to help the public better understand current immigration news and debates and how they are relevant to residents of greater Minnesota. On Wednesday, Nov. 14, three panelists from The Advocates for Human Rights, a Minneapolis-based non-profit, will present an overview of U.S. immigration policy, clarifying the sometimes confusing language, terms, and issues being debated today. Presenters Robin Phillips, Director, Michele McKenzie, Deputy Director, and Sarah Brenes, Director of Refugee and Immigrant Programs, will also discuss the intersection between U.S. immigration law and national and state human rights law, and will help separate fact from fiction. The mission of The Advocates for Human Rights is to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. The program will be presented at noon in Chucker Auditorium, Itasca Community College, and again at 6:30 p.m. in the Stender Community Room, Blandin Foundation Building.

The second program in the series will take place on Monday, Dec. 3, when St Cloud based #UniteCloud, a grassroots organization, will bring its exhibit “Green Card Voices of Central Minnesota” to Grand Rapids for 5 weeks. This exhibit features the personal stories of 18 immigrants from 12 countries who currently live in the St Cloud area. The opening of the exhibit will be accompanied by a panel presentation by Natalie Ringsmuth, the founder and director of #UniteCloud, and two of the individuals featured in the exhibit. The program will be offered twice, at 12 p.m. in Chucker Auditorium, and 7 p.m. in the Stender Room.

Programs are hosted by the City of Grand Rapids Human Rights Commission and Itasca Community College, with sponsorship from the Grand Rapids Public Library, the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative (FREC), the Bush Foundation, and the Blandin Foundation. Programs are free and open to the public.

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