By Stephanie Shonekan, Art, Music, and Pop Culture Contributing Editor
I have just returned to the US from a week in Trinidad, my mother’s home country. While I enjoyed getting reacquainted with the place where I had spent the first few years of my life, I was happy to come home to the US. As my children and I got off the airplane in Houston, we walked behind a pair of Texan men, who had incidentally stayed in the same hotel as us in Trinidad. They were part of a large group of oil men who had come to do some work on the island. As we approached the customs hall, there were airport workers who were ushering us, US citizens, to the kiosks which would get us through much quicker than people who were not citizens.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi1TjE13S3s In this moving TEDxPortland Talk, Ben discusses what it means to be an immigrant and the importance around policy and awareness of who we are letting in and why. Ben Huh is the founder and CEO of the Cheezburger Network. He’s been credited with pioneering Internet culture as entertainment, crowd sourcing and mainstreaming Internet memes. His media company includes more than 50 online humor sites, receives 400 million page views monthly, has spawned two New York Times Best Sellers and inspired a TV series. He’s a cofounder of Circa, an online journalism start-up reimagining the way we consume news. Huh holds a BSJ from Northwestern University and lives in Seattle with his wife, Emily.
There are two academic conference seasons in the United States where a majority of “international” academic conferences are hosted: mid-fall and late winter/early Spring. This year it can be remembered as: before and after the travel ban affecting nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries was announced. The American Anthropological Association, the Women’s Studies Association and the International Conference on Arabic and Islamic Studies had their conferences in the fall. The American Sociological Association, the Cultural Studies Association and the National Council for Black Studies are upcoming.
By Shayna Plaut, Human Rights Contributing Editor
Six summers ago, I made a new friend. She was 7 years old. I was a guest at what I assumed would be a stodgy and staid academic picnic, when the unmistakable sound of a child’s glee made me stop in my tracks. I looked over to see who was laughing with such genuine abandon. A little girl was literally in the air, being swung around by her arms. I knew I needed to meet this little person, as well as the big person who had raised such a live and open spirit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV31KZqp2xM This small Italian town is welcoming immigrants to revitalize the community which was home to less than 2,000 people and had become virtually a ghost town.
By Feyzi Baban and Kim Rygiel
The one-year anniversary of the “Cologne attacks” on some 1,200 women on New Year’s Eve is a difficult one for many Germans. Prior to the attacks, since the summer of 2015, Germany demonstrated remarkable leadership – unlike many other European countries – by providing refuge to a million people fleeing war in places like Syria, where nearly half the population fled their homes. Last year’s attacks, most of which took place in the Cologne train station and included sexual assault, rape and robbery, were a tipping and turning point for many Germans.
https://youtu.be/tmz9cCF0KNE Jose Antonio Vargas, an award-winning multimedia storyteller, is the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration. Born in the Philippines, Vargas immigrated to the United States at age 12. Stunning the media and political circles and attracting world-wide coverage, Vargas wrote the groundbreaking essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine in the summer of 2011. A year later, he was the author (and subject) of a cover story for TIME magazine headlined “We are Americans — just not legally.”
By Shea Howell | People’s Water Board
Donald Trump came to Detroit over Labor Day weekend in a laughable, highly scripted bid to prove he is not racist. Protesters greeted him. Detroit is the largest African American city in the country, with a history of sophisticated political organizing that counters such lame gestures quickly and clearly.
https://vimeo.com/155465997 Arrested at 16 and tried as an adult for kidnapping and robbery, Eddy Zheng served over 20 years in California prisons and jails. Ben Wang’s BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY paints an intimate portrait of Eddy—the prisoner, the immigrant, the son, the activist—on his journey to freedom, rehabilitation and redemption.