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Schedule of Events|Immigration Symposium
September 17, 2014
American Heritage Center, Centennial Complex, 2111 Willet Drive, Laramie, Wyoming

6:00 – 8:00pm
The UW American Heritage Center and the UW student organization Movimiento Estuduantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) are hosting an event to look at immigration through different angles related to the humanities including culture, art, and music.  This event will be held in the AHC’s Loggia (2nd floor of Centennial Complex).
September 18, 2014
UW Conference Center (Hilton Garden Inn), Laramie, Wyoming
Welcome to symposium and introduction of UW President Dick McGinity
by AHC Director Mark Greene
Salon C
8:30 – 8:40am
Welcome by UW President Dick McGinity
and introduction of Ruben Navarrette, Jr. and Sen. Al Simpson
Salon C
8:40 – 8:55am
Introductory Reflection
Salon C

9:00 – 10:00am
Conversation between Ruben Navarrette, Jr. and U.S. Senator (Ret.) Alan Simpson
Ruben Navarrette, Jr. is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, a nationally syndicated columnist with The Washington Post Writers Group, a regular commentator on NPR’s “Tell Me More with Michael Martin,” a weekly commentator for CNN.COM, and a frequent guest on national television and radio shows speaking on the topic of immigration.
Alan Simpson is a retired U.S. Senator from Wyoming who served from 1979 to 1997. He co-authored the Immigration Reform and Control Act, also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which was enacted November 6, 1986 by Congress to reform U.S. immigration law.
Morning Panel
Salon C

10:30am – 12:00pm
Focus: Wyoming’s immigration and migrant situation
Moderator: Dr. Lilia Soto, Assistant Professor, UW Chicano Studies and UW American Studies. 

Suzan Pritchett, J.D.

The Robert J. Golten Visiting Professor of Law at UW and Co-Director of the UW-based Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy. 

Dr. Phil Roberts

A professor of history at UW, where he has been on the faculty since 1990.  He specializes in the history of Wyoming and the American West, legal, environmental and natural resources history.

Bertine Bahige

Campbell County (Gillette) high school math teacher from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was kidnapped at the age of 13 to become a child soldier in ethnic warfare.  He escaped the rebel outpost, made his way to a Mozambique refugee camp, and was subsequently placed in the home of a Maryland couple.  In 2006, he was received a UW scholarship; he has since made his home in Gillette, Wyoming.  Bahige became an American citizen in February 2012.  He is working with a Campbell County legislator to make Wyoming part of the U.S. refugee resettlement system. 

José Rivas

UW student from the student organization, Movimiento Estuduantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA).

Jim Waldrop

General Manager of the Wort Hotel in Jackson and 2012 Board President of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association.

Keynote Lunch
Salon DE

This will be a ticketed lunch with free seating added for the public following the lunch.
12:30 – 2:30pm [open seating beginning at 1:30pm]

Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who, in a June 2011 essay in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, revealed his status as an "undocumented immigrant" in order to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the U.S.  Vargas is the founder of "Define American," a non-profit organization intended to open up dialogue about the criteria people use to determine who is an American.  His newly released film ‘Documented’ chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child; his journey through America as an immigration reform activist/provocateur; and his journey inward as he re-connects with his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years.

Afternoon Panel
Salon C

3:00 – 4:30pm
Focus: Current diverging national opinions on immigration
Moderator: Dr. Ed Muñoz, director of the University of Utah’s Ethnic Studies Program and associate professor of sociology at the University of Utah. He was formerly an associate professor with the Criminal Justice Department and director of Chicano Studies at the University of Wyoming. 

Dr. Marisela DeMirjyn

Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies and an Affiliated Faculty with the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research, as well as the Italian Studies Program and the Latin American Studies Program.  In her scholarly work, Maricela is interested in intersectionality and identity construction, particularly as experienced by Chicana and Latina populations. She is a participant in the emergent discourse regarding visual narrative analysis within the contexts of social activism and marginalized communities.  Her most recent publication in this area is Las Madonnas Morenas: Feminist Narratives of Cultural & Sexual Spirituality.

Dr. Ramiro Martinez, Jr.

Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University.  His core research agenda asks how does violence vary across ecological settings, and, does violent crime and violent deaths vary across racial/ethnic and immigrant groups?

Jeremy Robbins

Mr. Robbins was recently a Policy Advisor and Special Counsel in the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  He is now Executive Director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, the bipartisan coalition of more than 500 business leaders and mayors making the case that smarter immigration laws will help our companies better compete and create American jobs.

Dan Stein

President of the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  Prior to joining FAIR in 1982, Mr. Stein was executive director of the Immigration Reform Law Institute. His legal experience includes private practice and as congressional staff.  He has appeared on TV and radio news/talk programs and has contributed commentaries to a number of print media outlets.

4:30 – 5:00pm
Closing remarks by
Cecilia Aragon
UW Latina/o Studies Director
Noah Novogrodsky
Co-Director, Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy
UW Professor of Law
  • WY Senator Alan Simpson with President Reagan and VP Bush

Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson meeting with the President about immigration reform, June 1, 1981. Pictured are (clockwise from lower right): Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Max Friedersdorf, White House Chief of Staff James Baker, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George H.W. Bush, and U.S. Senator Alan Simpson.

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