Innovation Exchange Series on Immigration

5 mins read

The Center for Ethnic Racial and Religious Understanding (CERRU) is hosting a four-event series for our Innovation Exchange sponsored by Susheel Kirplani.  This year we are focusing on Immigration. The main event, Trump’s First Year: Impressions from Across the Political Landscape is on Wednesday, November 15th from 4:30-9pm. We will be exploring immigration related narratives and legislation from across the political spectrum. The event is broken into multiple pieces including speakers who are lobbying, advocating, and engaging in bipartisan work on the issue of immigration reform, dialogue, and workshopping. The event will also include a “walkabout” where we will display narratives people have chosen to share. Lastly, we will be announcing the kick-off of our Political Leaps of Faith project. For more information about this project, please see the previous Knight News piece!


We have three events leading up to Trump’s First Year: Impressions from Across the Political Landscape meant to inform and prepare participants involved. The first two events will be held simultaneously in the Science Building lobby on Monday, October 30th from 12-4pm. Both will be used to produce material for the main event. The first, Stating the Facts on Immigration asks students and community members to collaboratively collect information about recent immigration legislation and outcomes to be shared with attendees on November 15th. Immigration is an emotional and politically charged topic and we believe it is important to know the facts before diving deep into the issues we will be exploring.


The second event, Immigration Narrative Development Workshop, is meant to highlight some of the wide range of narratives that exist around immigration. We are looking for personal narratives relating to immigration. Whether you or someone in your family migrated with or without documentation, and how you or your family have experienced migration shifts. We are hoping for diverse responses that can speak to varying experiences with this issue. While we will be collecting submissions digitally and in the office, the workshop is an opportunity for those interested in feedback to come by between 12-4pm on Monday, October 30th. We will be collecting submissions in the form of writing, visual arts, and short videos to be displayed in the Patio Room during the November 15th event. Submissions will be accepted until Nov 7th at 3pm. If you would like feedback on your writing, art, or video clip, please come to the workshop or email us with questions by Nov 1st. Please send all submissions to with subject line: Immigration Narrative


In addition to combining information on legislation and current news with narratives, we are offering a tool based training, Upstander and De-escalation Workshop on November 6th during Free Hour, 12:15-1:30pm.  As Albert Einstein said, “the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” CERRU acknowledges that there are many sides to the issue of immigration and that the topic is complex. However, harassment or bigotry are not part of that discussion. Therefore, this workshop will serve as an introduction to active bystander techniques and methods for de-escalating conflicts with a focus on issues related to immigration. Like Dorothy Height who wanted “to be someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom…” CERRU strives to bridge social differences through dialogue and undoing bias techniques as methods for a more just world. That goal includes standing up in the face of hate and through the workshop, participants will learn about various methods relevant to different personalities and circumstances.  


We hope you will choose to join us at one of our upcoming events!


* Those who RSVP on Eventbrite by November 8th and attend the Innovation Exchange are automatically entered into a $25 gift card raffle. *


** Conversations for Engagement certificate requires attendance at at least one of the four Innovation Exchange Related events. For more information about the certificate, please email **

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