Monday, May 23, 2011

Need Something To Do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Domestically, President Barack Obama traveled to the United States-Mexico border last week to announce a new push for immigration reform. It requires a push, because the issue is so contentious and multi-faceted that all previous attempts to seriously overhaul the system have been blocked. Abroad, the European Union is considering restricting or ending the Schengen, the passport-free travel zone that has allowed free movement across much of the European continent since 1985, because of the stresses placed on it by refugee populations.

Immigration is a nexus for issues, cultural, economic, political, social, religious and demographic, making it one of the hottest political potatoes around.

But being personally involved in all it encompasses, it's difficult to see the issue from anything other than one's own perspective.

Today, there's a chance to see it a little more globally through film with a free screening of the acclaimed documentary Welcome to Shelbyville.

From the Independent Television Series website:

Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In this one small town in the heart of America's Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone's throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.

Just as the Latino population grapples with their own immigrant identity, African American residents look back at their segregated past and balance perceived threats to their livelihood and security against the values that they learned through their own long struggle for civil rights. As the newcomers — mostly of Muslim faith — attempt to make new lives for themselves and their children, leaders in this deeply religious community attempt to guide their congregations through this period of unprecedented change. Through the vibrant and colorful characters of Shelbyville, the film explores immigrant integration and the interplay between race, religion and identity in this dynamic dialogue. The story is an intimate portrayal of a community’s struggle to understand what it means to be American.

The screening will be a the Boise State SPEC. It starts at 7 p.m. and admission is FREE.

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