On February 22nd, at 6:00 p.m., The Gables will begin the third year of its Community Conversations on Immigration.
The main topic of the discussion on February 22nd will be sanctuary cities. Salem Mayor Driscoll and Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville will give an overview of the pros and cons that civic leaders consider as they think about applying this status to their city.
As the nation begins this tumultuous year, the Gables’ community conversations are gaining steam. Throughout Salem, forums are being offered at churches and other institutions for people to share their thoughts on sanctuary cities and immigration reform.
The primary goal of The Gables in hosting these dialogues is to encourage all residents and civic leaders of Salem and surrounding communities to listen, learn, and share their thoughts on immigration and immigration reform. The immigration conversations serve as an educational tool to explore some deeply entrenched perceptions and misperceptions that new immigrants and the descendants of earlier generations of immigrants have about each other — and sometimes about themselves and their own heritage.
Salem State University, during its week-long celebration of the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., offered a forum entitled Social Activism 101: Revolutionary Reflection. The forum stirred many people to think about the pressing civil rights issues of the day, including immigration reform.
Similarly, another forum organized on January 24th by three churches and faith leaders in Salem brought people together to reflect on the pros and cons of sanctuary cities and the moral stance a city might take, as reflected in this flyer.
Future scheduled conversations include:
March 22, 6:00 p.m. – Roundtable discussion — Participants Dr. Nik Theodore, researcher at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Salem Police Chief Mary Butler will discuss police involvement in immigration enforcement, as well as the perceptions of Latino communities about this partnership.
May 17, 6:00 p.m. Jeanne Kempthorne, Salem resident and lawyer will discuss the exploitation of immigrant labor by large landscaping firms.
July 19, 6:00 p.m. Mary Lui, Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University and author of The Chinatown Trunk Murder Mystery will explore the sensationalist press coverage and racist attitudes that surfaced in the early 20th century in New York during this dramatic trial.
Sept. 14, 6:00 p.m. Prof. Avi Chomsky of Salem State University will share the dramatic, but relatively unknown immigrant labor history that sprang from Salem’s Point neighborhood during the Pequot Mills Strike of 1933.
This post was written by Ryan Conary