With more than 50 percent of its population having been born outside the United States, Miami-Dade is a county of immigrants.
Families from South America, Central America and the Caribbean have shaped the history and culture of South Florida, making it rich and unique.
In recognition of the vibrant contributions of immigration, and of the complexities associated with it, FIU is hosting a panel discussion on immigration reform Wednesday, March 18, at 2 p.m. in the Green Library on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.
Titled “Multiple Perspectives on Immigration Reform,” the panel will feature prominent South Floridians deeply committed to issues of social justice, including:
- Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Archdiocese of Miami
- Helen Aguirre Ferre, award-winning journalist
- Gespie Metellus, executive director of Sant La: Haitian Neighborhood Center
- Dahlia Wlker-Huntington, immigration lawyer
“Immigration reform is something that resonates not just with a particular ethnic community, but across all of South Florida. Even for those who aren’t immediate immigrants, immigration is part of our local heritage,” said Michael Gillespie, director of the FIU Center for Humanities in an Urban Environment. “We’re all shaped in positive ways by immigrant culture, but we also feel the consequences of the issues pertaining to immigration. It’s a complex issue that can’t be solved with one sweeping solution.”
The panel will present a range of perspectives, including legal, ethical, journalistic and sociopolitical. After the panel discussion, audience members will be free to ask questions and comment.
“I hope people walk away with a better understanding of the complexity of the issue of immigration,” Gillespie said. “It’s not an issue that can be solved in two hours. But given the terrific panel of experts, I think we will get a better sense of how many elements there are to immigration and immigration reform. Regardless of the position we take on the issue, we need to proceed in an informed manner.”
The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment, Cuban Research Institute, Alumni Association, and Exile Studies Program in the Department of English.