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Citywide Discussion To Bring Chicagoans Together

As our nation wrestles with chaos in the immigration sphere, Chicagoans will come together on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, for a citywide discussion on one of the most critical issues of our time: “The U.S. Immigration/ Refugee Debate.”

Featuring a diverse panel of foremost thought leaders in the Immigration/Refugee Affairs arena, this event will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Northwestern Law School’s Lincoln Hall, 357 E. Chicago Ave.

US RefugeeImmigration DebateSponsored by Northwestern University’s Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, Medill School of Journalism, National Association of Black Journalists and Public Narrative, the event comes at a critical time for immigration and refugee discourse on the American political landscape.

Two Travel Ban Executive Orders seeking to prohibit refugees/immigration from several Muslim majority countries and to close the United States refugee program worked their way up to the U.S. Supreme Court this month.

One lawsuit is dismissed by the Highest Court, mooted by the third and newest Travel Ban — only to see that third version blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii this week in response to legal challenges.

On the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals front, the White House rescinds DACA, setting a March deadline to potentially strip legal protections from 800,000 young ‘Dreamers’ brought to the U.S. as children.

That DACA action has set the stage for a potential tradeoff with Congress that could include a border wall with Mexico.

Meanwhile, the RAISE Act, a bill backed by the White House and introduced in Congress in July, aims to cut legal permanent immigration to the U.S. by half over the next decade.

It’s time for a deeper conversation.

Against ideological, political and racial divisions tearing at the very fabric of anation, Americans are on a new journey calling for a deeper understanding of our differences in culture and values and open and honest discourse as to how we hold on to those values through rational government policy.

This public citywide discussion is expected to draw up to 200 attendees, from community stakeholders to elected officials, from educators and students to journalists and Chicago grassroots nonprofits active within the immigration sphere in a city that has stood firm on welcoming policies.


Opening Remarks —Jabbar Bennett, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Northwestern University

Moderator — Alfonso Gutierrez, 4:30, 5:30 and 10 p.m. news anchor at Telemundo Chicago/WSNS


Maudlyne Ihejirika, Reporter/Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times, Author, “Escape From Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War”

Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, Founder & Executive Director, Syrian Community Network

Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations – Minnesota

Jack Doppelt, Hamad gin Khalifa Al Thani Professor of Journalism, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Publisher, “Immigrant Connect”

Please find promotional flyer and headshots attached.

Photos (L-R Clockwise): Alfonso Gutierrez; Suzanne Akhras Sahloul; Jack Doppelt; Maudlyne Ihejirika; Jaylani Hussein.

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