Alabama Screen&Discuss: “you can see yourself in someone else’s story”

July 22, 2020

Community Supported Film teamed up with the Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership to host a virtual Screen&Discuss event on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Over 40 people joined the Zoom meeting to watch She’s an American Child, Campaign for a New American and Navigating Hope and talk about key issues facing new immigrants and refugees.

Below you can find the full recording of the event as well as selected excerpts and comments from the audience.

Seeing Yourself in Someone Else’s Story

“These films resonate with my experience.”

– Ana Delia Espino, Event Co-Host and Director of Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice

“Navigating Hope really motivated me to capture our stories and share them with community.”

“Seeing the staying power of the Dominican young woman [in She’s an American Child] who excelled in her education and received scholarships motivates me to advocate for additional financial aid for immigrant youth to study and work in their chosen fields!

“These films ‘normalize’ us — you can see yourself in someone else’s story and I think that’s really important.”

– Gaby, a first generation Venezuelan-American

These conversations are important so that we can lift up our stories and share how we [immigrants] are part of the makeup of our towns and states.”

“I’m grateful that so many wonderful immigrants choose to come to this country despite the difficulties. We are lucky to have them.”

COVID-19 Impact on Immigrants

“Most of us are living in multi-generation households. If one person becomes sick, the whole family gets infected.”

– Qin Li, Director of Campaign for a New American

“This COVID19 crisis, with immigrants/refugees on the front lines with devastating consequences is important for all U.S. citizens to be aware of. The rhetoric about immigration is troubling and it prevents voters from making choices that benefit immigrants and themselves. With climate change disasters continuing worldwide, our nation must grapple thoughtfully and humanely with the issue of migration.”

“I seek to join others at the local, national and international levels to bring about greater awareness and policy changes that have positive impact on those most vulnerable to climate change.”

Legal Process for Asylum Seekers and Undocumented

“The cuts that have been happening…have been devastating…to helping [new immigrants] navigate” the system.

– Meredith Gartin PhD, Event Co-Host and Assistant Professor at UAB School of Public Health

This event has motivated me to “contact high school counselors to find where there are opportunities for immigrant youth and help them apply for grants in aid.”

“Wonderful event. I will be incorporating the organization into my curriculum and coursework on Immigrant, Migrant, Refugee Health at my institution where I teach.”

A special thanks to ​Lynda Wilson of the Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership for co-hosting and organizing this event.  Additional thanks to event co-sponsors: Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, the Birmingham Islamic Society, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Institute for Human Rights and Sparkman Center for Global Health.

From top to bottom, left to right: Sayed Hashimi, director of Navigating Hope; Qin Li, director of Campaign for a New American; Ana Delia Espino, Executive Director of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice; Meredith Gartin of the Sparkman Center for Global Health at UAB; Michael Sheridan, CSFilm Director; Rafael DeLeon, director of She’s an American Child; Selena Gonzalez, participant; Lynda Wilson of the Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership

My hope is renewed, and I am inspired to continue to try to work towards more justice for immigrants.”

Here is the full version of the event:

Our Screen&Discuss events are making impact around the country and you can can organize a Screen&Discuss event in your community, too!

To learn about our upcoming events and new resources, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list. And in order to continue our public engagement Screen&Discuss tour through cities and towns around America, we need your support! Please donate to CSFilm today.

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