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Visual images of immigration part of NMSU's J. Paul Taylor Symposium April 2-4

Dialogue on immigration issues is crucial toward understanding the subject but displaying visual images on the subject is worth more than 1,000 words.


Photographer Diana Molina will be displaying those images on the immigration issue at the J. Paul Taylor Symposium on Social Justice April 2-4 at New Mexico State University. "Seven-String Barbed-Wire Fence: The Many Faces of Latino Immigration in the United States" will be one of the exhibitions at the symposium, which will also have several panels discussing various topics on "Justice for Immigrants."

"I seek to humanize the issue in a balanced way by this exhibit. I hope people get a better understanding of the issue of Latino immigration to the U.S., and I hope the exhibit inspires dialogue. Together with the symposium, I think it will inspire a good bit of dialogue with many people speaking on the different aspects of immigration," said Molina, whose photographs have also captured the lives of the Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua, Mexico.

In the exhibit, Molina presents three national movements that have taken place in the post 9/11 era: The 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Rides that began in Houston; the 1,000 Minuteman Project volunteers who guarded the Arizona border during April 2005; and a third focus of the project that will present three qualities that characterize immigrant life: specifically, the diverse ways in which immigrants express themselves within their work context, including urban, industrial and agricultural locations, Molina said.

"We are presenting the different viewpoints of immigration. You meet different kinds of people, not just the hardworking, family oriented, immigrant, but also the criminal element. We're dealing with humanity at all levels. We see examples like the strong reactions for patriotism of the Minutemen to people who basically are in survival mode who are working to feed their families and survive. The Americas are connected. They always have been," Molina said.

The exhibition will be displayed from Monday, March 31, to Friday, April 4, at Corbett Center Art Gallery, on the second floor.

Dolores Huerta, community activist and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association (the predecessor to the United Farm Workers Union), will be the featured speaker April 2 at this year's J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium.

The symposium will end with a poetry slam by the Free Verse Footsoldiers: Youth Poets on the Border at 6 p.m. on April 4, and closing remarks by NMSU's Provost Waded Cruzado.

All of the symposium's discussions will be conducted on the NMSU campus. A full schedule of the symposium can be downloaded and printed at http://www.nmsu.edu/~artsci/jpt_symp/2008/JPT%202008%20Program.pdf.

Persons attending discussions during the day are encouraged to get an E-permit to be able to park on campus. Permits can be obtained online at http://www.campusvisitor.com/.