Sure, plenty of people have something to say about immigration — but the hot-button issue often elicits more heated rhetoric than serious dialogue. “Immigrant Realities in Western North Carolina” is the subject of a public workshop and discussion at UNCA on Thursday, April 12, that means to foster the latter.
“I would love to see a big, broad audience,” says Gretchen Trautman, Spanish instructor and faculty advisor of the student group HOLA (Hispanic Outreach for Learning and Awareness), which is sponsoring the event. The three-hour program will address recent and historical immigrants of both Latino and non-Latino backgrounds, and explore topics including: connecting immigration to regional history; law enforcement and immigration law; root causes and personal stories of immigration; and immigrants’ access to higher education.
The free workshop will be conducted by COLA (Coalicion de Organazaciones Latino Americans) — a regional network that connects and supports organizations empowering WNC’s Hispanic communities — and it takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. in New Hall 014.
— Nelda Holder, news and opinion editor