A public showing of the film 9500 Liberty will be offered through the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:15 p.m. in the Genrich-Rusling Room of LeChase Hall on River Campus. The showing, which is the third in a film series exploring immigrant and refugee experiences that will screen during the academic year, is free and open to the public.
The film 9500 Liberty focuses on a controversial state law passed in 2007 that required police in Virginia’s Prince William County to ask for citizenship documentation of and to detain anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally. Directed by Eric Byler and Annabel Park, 9500 Liberty is a compelling documentary about when anti-immigration laws hurt a community rather than help it. It examines cases of racial profiling and their devastating effects, both socially and economically, that tore apart this suburb.
A panel discussion, moderated by Mary Jane Curry, an associate professor who directs the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) education program at Warner, will follow the screening, digging deeper into the themes and issues raised in 9500 Liberty. Panelists will include: Donna Harris, PhD, and Judy Marquez Kiyama, PhD, both assistant professors in educational leadership at the Warner School who have been collaborating with the Ibero-American Action League’s Education Task Force by examining the experiences of Latina/o secondary school students; and Walter H. Ruehle, an attorney and director of the Immigration Program of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester and an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School.
9500 Liberty, which was released in 2010, chronicles the first and only time in U.S. history that an Arizona-style immigration law was actually implemented and the grassroots position that led to its repeal. “The documentary will give viewers an intimate look at the pressures that increased immigration can put on a community and the ways that different members of a community respond to anti-immigrant backlash,” said Curry.
The film series is supported by Project CELLS: Western New York Collaboration for English Language Learners Success, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, which aims to provide children who are learning English with access to high-quality instruction across academic subjects and prepare them for success beyond high school. Project CELLS supports scholarships for new and veteran teachers to earn TESOL certification and develops curriculum, particularly for refugee English language learners, and professional development activities, including training for all school personnel, to support student achievement in K-12 schools.
The last film showing and discussion taking place during the 2012-13 academic year as part of the immigrant and refugee film series will include Childhood in Translation on March 26.
The film is closed caption and a sign language interpreter will be provided for the panel discussion. For other special accommodations or questions, please contact the Warner Academic Support Office at (585) 276-5405 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Parking is free. LeChase Hall is located in the historic Wilson Quadrangle, between Todd Union and Wilson Commons, on River Campus. For directions visit www.rochester.edu/maps. For more information on the Feb. 7 event, please visit www.warner.rochester.edu.