Check out these panel discussions, filmed by Uprooted in March, at the 2011 Left Forum, the largest annual conference of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and individuals. These two panel discussions “Race and Racism in the Immigration Debate” and “Pass the Dream Act: How the Student Immigrant Youth is Leading the Immigration Debate” provide some food for thought on some of the central issues addressed by Uprooted.
Watch it here:
Uprooted asks: how does race affect the way we talk about migration issues? Who is harmed by the dominant discourse and who benefits? How are immigrant youth affected by current immigration policies? What movements have been created to try and change these policies? What needs to change in the way we think, talk, act and create legislation on immigration issues? And what are people doing to effect those changes?
The following panel discussions address these issues in depth, with panelists from the immigrant youth activist group, the New York State Youth Leadership Coalition, the media watch group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the Nation Institute, and from Uprooted’s newest partner organization, the Colorlines’ Drop the “I” Word Campaign.
The panel extract for “Race and Racism in the Immigration Debate”:
“Racist, dehumanizing terms such as “illegal” play a crucial role in generating and reinforcing racial animus toward immigrants. This harmful and colonizing language, which is too often granted an unchallenged platform in the media, underpins policies that violate human rights, and hurt immigrants and all communities of color. On this panel, media activists, organizers and journalists discuss strategies of resistance and reflect on the lessons of their own work at the front-lines of the immigration debate. From the movement of “Dreamers”–the immigrant youth who have “come out as undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic” in the media, especially during the Dream Act campaign; to the Nation’s expose of immigrant-bashing former CNN host Lou Dobbs’s reliance on undocumented labor; to a new campaign calling on journalists to “Drop the i-word” (illegal) in their coverage of immigrants.”
The panel extract for “Pass the Dream Act: How the Student Immigrant Youth is Leading the Immigration Debate”:
“In 2010, immigrant youth and children of immigrants across the nation took destiny into their own hands and united at the local and national level to galvanize support and pressure legislators to pass the DREAM Act. Risking their lives and livelihoods, undocumented youth came forward and openly declared themselves “undocumented and unafraid.” In New York, immigrant youth carried out a 10-day hunger strike in front of Senator Schumer’s office, with dozens of rallies, vigils, marches and die-ins. At the national level, there were acts of civil disobedience staged on congressional buildings, hunger strikes, protests, a mock graduation ceremony, and a DREAM University in front of the White House. Undocumented youth demonstrated how a national movement with minimal funding and infrastructure can shift the discussion and bring the Dream Act to the political forefront.”
Watch it here: