The House of the Seven Gables, a colonial mansion turned non-profit museum in Salem Massachusetts, hosted a New Immigrant and Refugee Visions Screen&Discuss event September 19 6-7pm, in-person.
The Gables offers educational programming to support their local immigrant community including Adult English Language and Citizenship preparation classes. They engage the wider community through stimulating, thoughtful, facilitated conversations, like this one, on immigration and other social justice issues.
The films included were:
- She’s an American Child, by Rafael DeLeon, about Annabelle — a Dominican ‘DREAMer’ and her undocumented mother.
- Rhythms of Respect, by Katsyris Rivera-Kientz, about Jorge Arce — a Puerto Rican dancer, musician, educator, and cultural activist.
These two films provide a revealing look at two Boston-based stories and the challenges facing migrants and immigrants.
Their was a small audience but a rich discussion with Rafael DeLeon, director of She’s and American Child, the subjects of his films, Annabelle and Esther, and the subject of Rhythms of Respect, Jorge Arce. Annabelle updated us about the current situation with DACA and the lack of movement by the Biden administration on providing a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. As she and her mother Esther articulated there will not be any real change until the US public decides that they want change and a complete overhaul of our broken immigration system.
Jorge spoke to the continued need to use cultural activities, as demonstrated in his film, to educate the public about diversity and inclusiveness. As audience members mentioned we are in a catch twenty-two situation where you have the material to inform and inspire, like this event itself, but you can’t get many people to show up – especially those that are misinformed about the role and impact of immigration in the United States.
September 19, 6-7pm, in-person
House of Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem MA