Fencing in God?: Religion, Immigration, and Incarceration

The Institute of Religion, Culture, and Public Life is pleased to announce Fencing in God?, a semester-long series of events focused on the ways in which religion and mobility intersect with immigration and incarceration. Throughout the Spring 2013 term, we will be presenting three public lectures with scholars and activists and three related film-screenings, intended to facilitate and encourage long-term discussions around the topics of religion, immigration, and incarceration.

Event details for the series are below:

Alyshia Galvez on Guadalupan New York: Activism and Devotion among Mexicans in NYC

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013, 6-7:30 pm
Room 707, International Affairs Building 420 West 118th St, NY

Alyshia Gálvez is a cultural anthropologist (PhD, NYU 2004) whose work focuses on the efforts by Mexican immigrants in New York City to achieve the rights of citizenship. This talk asks: How do spaces of devotion become spaces of activism? What role does faith play in the construction of civic spaces and civil society among recent immigrant groups? What are the limitations of these forms of social mobilization? This talk will explore a decade of Guadalupan-based devotion and activism for immigration rights among recent Mexican immigrants in New York City. Based on Gálvez’s extended ethnographic research in New York City and many years of activism and advocacy, she will reflect on the changing immigrant rights movement and its intersection with faith based institutions and organizations.

Seating is limited; please RSVP here.

Fencing in God Film Screening: Sin Nombre

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013, 6 pm- 8 pm
614 Schermerhorn

Please join us for a screening of Sin Nombre, a 2009 film that tells two powerful intersecting stories of immigration through Mexico to the US border. The film follows following order to start a new life. Written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, and shot in Mexico, the film “is an elegant, heartbreaking fable, equal parts Shakespearean tragedy, neo-Western and mob movie but without the pretension of those genres.”

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Jackie Vimo, Director of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition. Jackie has been be working for over 15 years in the field of public policy on a broad array issues, including:  HIV/AIDS, public health, public assistance, LGBTQ issues, housing, workers’ rights, racial justice, and immigration.  Jackie has done work in Argentina, where her family lives, and has held positions in New York and San Francisco social justice organizations such as Make the Road New York and The New York AIDS Coalition.  Jackie also teaches in the Political Science Departments at the City College of New York and the New School University.  She received a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College, Columbia University and a M.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate writing a doctoral dissertation about immigration detention and prisons at the New School for Social Research.

This event is free and open to the public.

Fencing in God Film Series: Broken On All Sides

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013, 6pm-8pm
614 Schermerhorn

Please join us for a screening of Broken On All Sides. The documentary centers around the theory put for­ward by many, and most recently by Michelle Alexander (who appears in the movie), that mass incarceration has become “The New Jim Crow.” That is, since the rise of the drug war and the explosion of the prison population, and because discretion within the sys­tem allows for arrest and prosecution of people of color at alarmingly higher rates than whites, pris­ons and criminal penal­ties have become a new ver­sion of Jim Crow. Much of the discrimination that was legal in the Jim Crow era is today illegal when applied to black people but perfectly legal when applied to “criminals.” The prob­lem is that through subjective choices, people of color have been tar­geted at significantly higher rates for stops, searches, arrests, prosecution, and harsher sentences. So, where does this leave criminal justice? Through inter­views with people on many sides of the criminal justice system, this documentary aims to answer questions and provoke questions on an issue walled-off from the public’s scrutiny.

This event is free and open to the public.

Religion and Incarceration: A conversation with Winnifred Sullivan and Julio Medina

Thursday, March 14th, 2013, 6-8 pm
1501 IAB, 420 West 118th St

Featuring a conversation between Winnifred Sullivan and Julio Medina, this talk will focus on religious mobility within confined spaces, focusing on religious conversion within the American penal system. This conversation will not only explore the complexities of conversion within prisons, but also the ways in which religious faith -and activism- are integral components of the modern prison-industrial complex. Moderated by Brett Dignam, Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.

Fencing in God Film Series: Sentenced Home

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013, 6pm- 8pm
614 Schermerhorn

Please join us for a screening of Sentenced Home. Putting a human face on controversial immigration policy, SENTENCED HOME follows three young Cambodian Americans through the deportation process. Raised in inner city Seattle, they pay an unbearable price for mistakes they made as teenagers. Caught between their tragic pasts and an uncertain future, each young man confronts a legal system that offers no second chances.

This event is free and open to the public.

Immigration Detention: Understanding the Intersections of Immigration and Incarceration

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, 6 pm- 8 pm
Location TBA

Please join us for the final event in the series Fencing in God? This panel discussion  once again looks to the relationship of religion and mobility, exploring the role of religion in immigration detention facilities and in attitudes toward comprehensive immigration reform. Pairing immigrant rights advocates, scholars, and activists, this round-table discussion focuses on the ways in which religious discourses influence American immigration policies and practices.

More information to follow.

Fencing in God? – Religion, Immigration, and Incarceration is a semester-long series of events focused on the ways in which religion and mobility intersect with immigration and incarceration. Throughout the Spring 2013 term, the IRCPL will present three public lectures and three related film-screenings intended to facilitate and encourage long-term discussions around the topics of religion, immigration, and incarceration.

 

 

 

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