Humanitarian and activist Leonila Romero Gonzalez will join campus in an event sponsored by the offices of Intercultural Affairs and the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning in collaboration with Witness for Peace. On Monday, Oct. 15, Gonzalez will deliver a talk titled “Migrants’ Passage and Their Hopes on Their Journey,” at 5 p.m. in the Wasey Lounge, located on the second floor of the Scandling Campus Center.
Mary Manchester ’13, who will introduce Gonzalez, believes that inviting speakers such as Gonzalez to campus is invaluable. “After interning at Witness for Peace in Washington, D.C., I was able to gain a broader understanding of the root causes of migration and the effects it has on the United States,” explains Manchester. “I think it is important for students on our campus to be well informed about U.S. immigration policies, but also the economic policies and corporate practices that drive people north. Bringing people like Ms. Gonzalez to our campus will give students a fresh perspective on the topic of immigration.”
Gonzalez is the assistant at the Dimension Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana for Mexico, and is a member of the humanitarian organization Las Patronas. For more than 15 years, Las Patronas, an organization for women based in Veracruz, Mexico, has provided assistance to Central American migrants making the harrowing journey north through Mexico. With the Pastoral, based in Mexico City, Gonzalez secures documentation for the migrants, monitors activity at migrant shelters in different parts of Mexico, and leads workshops on the various aspects of migration.
“Leonila’s presentation illuminates the hardships of migration from Mexico and Central America that are unseen to most people in the U.S., and calls attention to why we need immigration reform that respects the right to migrate and the dignity of migrants,” says Walker Grooms, a national grassroots organizer for Witness for Peace.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Office of Intercultural Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 781-3319.