There will be a community forum on immigration in Oak Ridge on Thursday.
A press release said the forum will provide information on how immigration has been affected by current politics and the issue of living without documentation in Oak Ridge.
The main speaker will be De Ann Pendry, a senior lecturer and adjunct assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
The forum is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in the sanctuary at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
The forum is free, and the public is invited, the press release said. It’s sponsored by Women’s Interfaith Dialogue of Oak Ridge, or WIDOR; Oak Ridge Interfaith Partnership, or ORIP and the League of Women Voters, or LWV.
Pendry received her master’s degree in Latin American studies and doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Texas-Austin. Her publications include “Seeking to Understand the Politics of Immigration in Tennessee” (2011) and “Urgent Need to Address Punitive Immigration Policies” (2016), the press release said. Since 2005, she has been working with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. She helped co-found the Allies of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors, or AKIN, and she serves as AKIN’s liaison to the Comité Popular de Knoxville. She has received several community service awards for this work, including Centro Hispano’s Espíritu Latino Award in 2013, the release said.
Also scheduled to present on Thursday are:
- Director Jo Bruce, Oak Ridge Schools Family Resource Center, the founding director for this agency, which began in 1993 and works with families with all forms of challenges, including immigration.
- A DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student who will share a personal story about related challenges. The student’s immigration status resulted from 2012 American immigration policy, which allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
- Oak Ridge Police Chief James T. Akagi, who has been the Oak Ridge police chief for six years, and who came with 25 years of experience, having served with the Oklahoma City District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Time will be allowed for questions after the presenters, the press release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release was submitted by Barbara McCord.
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