The News Service
Homeland Insecurity: The Changing Face of Immigration
Meissner to open 24th Brown/Providence Journal conference April 25
U.S. immigration policy expert Doris Meissner will deliver the Michael P. Metcalf–Howard R. Swearer Memorial Lecture to open the 24th annual Brown University/Providence Journal Public Affairs Conference. The conference, Homeland Insecurity: The Changing Face of Immigration, runs April 25 through April 28, 2004. Meissner will give her address, titled “Immigration and Security: A Post-9/11 Report Card,” on Sunday, April 25, at 5 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Policy-makers, civic representatives, analysts and cultural experts will discuss the legacy and future of the immigrant experience in the United States at the 24th Brown University/Providence Journal Public Affairs Conference, April 25 through April 28, 2004. Ten conference sessions, including arts and culture presentations, will examine the theme Homeland Insecurity: The Changing Face of Immigration.
Doris Meissner, senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute and former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, will open the four-day conference, delivering the keynote lecture, titled "Immigration and Security: A Post-9/11 Report Card," on Sunday, April 25, at 5 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. Her address will be the 2004 Michael P. Metcalf–Howard R. Swearer Memorial Lecture, honoring the memory of the public affairs conference founders Michael P. Metcalf, former chair and publisher of The Providence Journal, and Howard R. Swearer, Brown's 15th president.
In addition to Meissner, presenters include Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum; Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies; Lavinia Limón, executive director of the Immigration and Refugee Services of America and U.S. Committee for Refugees; Andrei Codrescu, writer and National Public Radio commentator; novelist Elizabeth Nunez; filmmaker Ziad Hamzeh, and many other artists, policy advocates and civic representatives.
Homeland Insecurity: The Changing Face of Immigration will gather a panel of distinguished commentators who will examine immigration, a central narrative of the American experience. Together they will examine the shifting political, social and economic terrains that serve as the backdrop for immigrant acculturation in the United States, New England and Rhode Island. A concurrent program of readings, drama, and art will offer a glimpse into cultural aspects of the immigrant experience.
The conference, free and open to the public, will continue through Wednesday, April 28, according to the schedule below. Sessions will be held in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. Arts events, unless otherwise noted, will take place at Brown Hillel, 80 Brown St. Doors will open one hour before each event.
[Editors: Several guest speakers will be available for telephone interview before the conference opens. Please contact the News Service for details.]
Homeland Insecurity: The Changing Face of Immigration
(All sessions in the Salomon Center for Teaching)
Sunday, April 25 – 5 p.m.
Doris Meissner, “Immigration and Security: A Post-9/11
Meissner, senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute and former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, will discuss immigration, domestic security, national unity and civil liberties post-September 11, 2001.
Monday, April 26 – 6:30 p.m.
Panel: “War on Terror or War on Immigrants?”
Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum; Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies; and moderator Deborah Becker, WRNI reporter and host ofMorning Edition Focus Rhode Island, will examine whether humane immigration policies can coexist with the United States’ current concern for homeland defense.
Tuesday, April 27 – 6:30 p.m.
Panel: “Yearning to Breathe Free”
Lavinia Limón, executive director of Immigration and Refugee Services of America and the U.S. Committee for Refugees; Virginia da Mota, director of the Rhode Island Department of Education's Office of School Improvement and Support Services; Jean Burritt Robertson, director of research and development for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation; and Pich Chhoeun, director of constituent services, Office of the Mayor of Providence, will discuss how changing U.S. immigration policies shape the lives of refugees in search of asylum, and how local policies and services are adapting to growing immigrant and refugee populations in Rhode Island.
Wednesday, April 28 – 6:30 p.m.
Andrei Codrescu: “The Terrorist Within: Are All Borders Imaginary?”
Andrei Codrescu, writer and National Public Radio commentator, will offer a poetic exploration of three decades of thinking and writing about immigration issues.
The Immigrant Experience through Arts and Culture
(All sessions at the Hillel Center, except as noted)
Sunday, April 25
The opening reception presents “Crossing Borders,”
an exhibit featuring visual art from immigrant artists
Bólájí Campbell (Nigeria), Raphael Díaz (Cuba) and
Nhia Lo (Hmong). In addition, the reception will feature a performance by
traditional Portuguese fado singers.
David Shrayer-Petrov and Maxim D. Shrayer will read from their Jonah and Sarah: Jewish Stories of Russian and America (2003), followed by an open discussion.
Monday, April 26
Nationally acclaimed storyteller and author Len Cabral will present "Stories Brought with Us," an illustration of how oral histories connect communities together.
Playwrights Quiara Hudes and Jonathan Ceniceroz, along with local actors, deliver "Sink or Swim: The Latino Immigrant Experience," with scene readings from their work.
Tuesday, April 27
Trinidadian immigrant and author Elizabeth Nunez, cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference, will read from her work.
8 p.m. (in the Salomon Center for Teaching)
Director Ziad H. Hamzeh presents a special screening of his critically acclaimed documentary The Letter, which chronicles Somali refugee resettlement in a Maine town.