Focus on change

Schoolcraft focus series shines light on modern immigration

By Camyle Cryderman, Editor-in-chief

Immigrant communitiesAfter a successful fall semester focusing on South East Asia, the Schoolcraft College International Institute (SCII) is proud to present the continuation of its annual focus series. Covering the topics of immigration and immigrant communities, this semester’s focus series is expected to bring about more conversation than ever before due to the controversy of the subject matter.

Now in its fourteenth year, Schoolcraft’s focus series have provided popular topics of debate and discussion since its debut. However, this semester adds a bit of a change to its traditional programing. For the first time, the focus series is not choosing a region of the world to research and discuss, but instead will be covering a theme. This theme will be immigration.

“Learning more about immigration will help students understand the concept,” said Schoolcraft student Tiana Johnson.

This change will not only allow the focus series to awaken more discussion, but will give attendees the chance to learn about international cultures on a relatable level as well.

“We are a part of a global village and therefore surrounded by cultural diversity. The Focus Series encourages students and community to explore the culture, politics, economics and history of the featured region and its relation to the rest of the world,” said International Institute Focus Series Coordinator and full time English Instructor Helen Ditouras.

This 2016 focus series began on Jan. 26 with an interactive speech by Wayne State University Political Science professor Brad R. Roth. Roth’s discussion targeted the issues of how immigration has caused some of America’s most regrettable decisions in regards to constitutional adherence.

The series continues with two further discussions and a movie screening to round out the topic. The first of which will take place on Feb. 17 at 11:30 a.m. in McDowell Center room 100. This discussion will feature Henry Ford Community College English Professor Dr. Peter Kim. He will specifically be discussing the cultural makeup of immigration and the settlement of Chinese immigrants in America, as well as answering any questions attendees may have.

The next featured discussion is set for March 9 at 11:30 a.m. in VisTaTech room 550. This speech, provided by Dr. Matthew Jaber Stiffler, American Culture Lecturer at the University of Michigan will provide commentary and interaction on the issue of immigration. Specifically, this event will focus on Middle Eastern immigration and settlement in America. It will cover prior cases of immigration and also highlight the recent Syrian refugee crisis with an accompanying exhibit.

“I am excited to show people the long history of Syrian and Arab immigration to Michigan, and to highlight some of the most interesting events and people that have emerged from that community,” said Stiffler.

Rounding out the winter focus series on April 14 will be a film screening of the 2007 movie “Facing Sudan.” Beginning at 11 a.m. in Liberal Arts room 200 the film will be prefaced with an introduction by Dr. Daniel Yezbick, professor of English at Forest Park College. The movie retells the stories of suffering and survival inside Sudanese refugee camps through the eyes of unassuming, everyday people. The perfect finale to an informative focus series, this film will provoke thought and discussion.

Free for anyone to attend and open to the public. With the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts and discuss the effects of immigration with like and different minded people, this series is a unique educational opportunity. There is no better way to gain knowledge on a topic than to be completely immersed in the subject matter. Join Schoolcraft’s focus series for this exclusive chance.

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