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4/10-12 Chicago:NISN National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conf & Film Festival

by Lee Siu Hin - Immigrant Solidarity Network Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2009 at 3:12 AM (213)403-0131 Chicago, IL USA

Stop Immigrant Raids! Support Immigrant Workers Rights! Together We Build A New Immigrant Rights Movement!

**ONLY Two Weeks Left!**
April 10-12, 2009 Chicago, IL

National Immigrant Solidarity Network
4th National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference &
Immigrant Rights Film Festival
UIC Student Center West 828 South Wolcott, Chicago, IL 60612 
(Two Block West from CTA Pink Line POLK Station)
Stop Immigrant Raids! Support Immigrant Workers Rights!
Together We Build A New Immigrant Rights Movement!

Phone: (773)942-2268 | e-mail:

****Student/Low-Income Specials***
[Regular/Organization: .00; Student/Low-Income: .00]
**for those who cannot afford, family, youth and workers,
we'll offer sliding Scale, No ONE Will Turn Away for Lack of Funds**

 Spanish Main Page | Campaign Proposals | Tabling | Flyers
Lists of Workshops | Endorse the Conference | Travel & Housing

Weekend of Celebration of Immigrant Rights!

Friday April 10: Immigrant Rights Community Action!
Join with Good Friday Walk, Organized by: 8th Day Center for Justice
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM at downtown Chicago Map
We'll Assemble at Financial Plaza (Clack & Jackson) around 12:30 PM for the Immigration part of the Walk

Friday – Saturday April 10 – 11: National Immigrant Rights Film Festival
Over dozen highly acclaimed immigrant rights films!
Friday April 10 6:00 - 10:30 PM Film Festival Opening and Meet with Producers!
Made in L.A.
Children in No Man's Land
A Forgotten Injustice
Saturday April 11 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM Film Fstival Schedule

Friday - Sunday April 10 - 12: National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference

Saturday April 11 7:00 PM - 10:30 PM: Immigrant Community Town Hall and Cultural Festival and Immigrant Conference Benefit After Party
Key Note Speaker: Kim Bobo - Executive Director Interfaith Worker Justice
After Party Performer: ReadNex Poetry Squad

National Immigrant Solidarity Network (NISN), the leading national immigrant activist network, is calling for 4th National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference and Immigrant Rights Film Festival at the weekend of April 10-12, 2009 on Chicago, IL!

The conference will be our strategy planning meeting for grassroots immigrant activists looking 2009 and beyond. We want to send a clear message to the Congress and our new President: 
Stop Immigrant Raids! Support Immigrant Workers Rights!

For more information, please visit:

It's Your Conference! We're accepting your campaign proposlas! 

Our Focus:
The conference will focus on building multi-ethnic, multi-constituent, broad-based grassroots immigrant rights movements run by de-centralized volunteer-based community-rooted immigrant rights activists from youth, workers and community members who can play more active role on campaign formulation and decision making for local coalition building to organize popular education campaigns, such as: campaign to against immigrant dentition, deportation & raids; immigrant labor rights movement; campaign against local anti-immigrant ordinance; and linking the immigrant rights movement with other struggles, such as: anti-war and anti-globalization movements.

We'll also discuss the lessons from the 2008 election and what we should expect from the new President and the Congress affecting immigrant legislation for the next two years. 


Workshops and Strategic Campaign Proposal:
The conference will be focus on the following areas, at the end of the conference, we'll draft a strategic campaign proposal.

- 2008 Elections and How It'll Impact Immigrant Rights Movement
- Linking Immigrant Rights Movements with Other Struggles
- Immigrant Raids, Detention & Deportation
- Immigrant Labor Campaigns and Day Labor Centers
- Housing, Education and Healthcare Rights for the Immigrants
- No to the Border Wall and Militization of the Border
- Strategic Resources for the Immigrant Activists
- Support Local Chicago Grassroots Immigrant Campaigns
- Building a Multi-ethnic, Multi-Constituents-Based Immigrant Rights Movement
- Congressional Immigrant Legislation
- International Immigrant Rights Campaigns

Please contact us: and if you can help us.

In solidarity!

Lee Siu Hin
National Coordinator
National Immigrant Solidarity Network


Main Events of the Conference

April 10 – 11: National Immigrant Rights Film Festival

Over dozen highly acclaimed immigrant rights films! The Immigrant Rights Film Festival is part of the 3-days April 10-12 Chicago, IL National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference.

Friday April 10: 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Saturday April 11: 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Location: UIC Student Center West 828 South Wolcott, Chicago, IL

Admission: .00

Friday April 10 Film Festival Opening and Meet with Producers!

Made in L.A. 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Children in No Man's Land 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
A Forgotten Injustice 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
*Film Producers of These Films Will be Coming to Speak!*

Film Festival Schedule for Saturday April 11

De Nadie 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Lunch and Meet the Producers 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Voice of the Mountain 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
USA v. Al Arian 2:15 PM - 4:00 PM
La Americana 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Click Here for Film Festival Schedule

Feature Films

Made in L.A.
(Producer Will Be Coming to Speak at the Film Fest and the Conference)

Directed by: Almudena Carracedo & Robert Behar

View Trailer:

Made in L.A. follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a mega-trendy clothing retailer. In intimate verite style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice.


La Americana
(Chicago Premier! Producer Will Be Coming to Speak at the Film Fest and the Conference)

Directed and Produced By Nicholas Bruckman
Co-Director John Mattiuzzi
Co-Producer Jesse Thomas

View Trailer:

Carmen never planned to come to the United States, but when her daughter Carla was only nine-years-old, tragedy struck.  Carmen left Carla behind in Bolivia and made the dangerous and illegal journey to New York City where she could earn enough to support her ailing daughter, knowing she may never return home.  But after six years of separation, congress proposes 'amnesty' legislation that could allow Carmen and Carla to be reunited again. 

Will Carmen stay and fight for the American dream, or be home as promised for Carla's quinceañera?  Filmed in three countries and told through an intimate cinema-vérité narrative, her unforgettable story is woven into the current immigration debate in the United States, putting a human face on this timely and controversial issue.

USA vs Al-Arian
(member of the Al-Arian Family Will be Coming to Speak at the Film Festival!)

Diected by: Line Halvorsen

View Trailer:

In February 2003, university professor and pro-Palestinian civil rights activist Sami Al-Arian was arrested in Tampa, Florida, charged with providing material support to a terror organization. For two-and-a-half years he was held in solitary confinement, denied basic privileges and given limited access to his attorneys. While the Bush administration considered this a landmark case in its campaign against international terrorism, Sami Al-Arian claims he was targeted in an attempt to silence his political views.

The film follows Sami Al-Arian’s wife Nahla and their five children throughout his 6 month-long trial. It is an intimate family portrait that documents the strain brought on by the trial, a battle waged both in court and in the media. In the film a tight-knit family unravels before our very eyes as trial preparations, strategy and spin consume their lives. This is a nightmare come to life, as a man is prosecuted for his beliefs rather than his actions.

The film raises questions on whether it is possible for a man like Sami Al-Arian to receive a fair trial in the United States given the current hostile environment against Muslims and the strong US support of Israel. It presents democracy in a new light in a post-9/11 culture of fear, where "security measures" trump free speech and punishment is meted out in the name of protection. It is an example of how the American government’s hunt for terrorists is a struggle that can be seen from multiple angles.


Lost in Haiti
(Producer Will Be Coming to Speak at the Film Fest and the Conference)

Directed by: Gregory Jesus Luc

View Trailer:

A documentary exploring the social, cultural, political, and personal ramifications endeavored by many current and future deportee's returned to Haiti, their birth-land under the new U.S. Immigration Laws. Our Haitian-American perspective will explore the root cause of ap to oppress, assimilate, and acculturate propriation and objectification of the Haitian culture and history as a tool the deportees. We will reveal how the United States Immigration and deportation process functions and the effects change on the lives of long-time U.S. residents and their families left behind using dramatic personal first hand accounts.


A Forgotten Injustice
(Producer Will Be Coming to Speak at the Film Fest Opening Night Friday April 10!)


Produced by: Vicente Serrano
News Anchor - Telemundo Chicago

 “A Forgotten Injustice” is the first film that uncovers the massive “deportation” of almost two million U.S citizens and legal residents who were forced out of the Unites States during the Great Depression in the 1930s. These people were forced to leave because of one reason: They were of Mexican descent.

When the stock market and U.S. economy crashed in 1929, U.S. officials sought a convenient scapegoat, a quick solution to their problem. They tightened immigration rules and focused on sending Mexicans across the border. According to some government officials, Mexicans were taking jobs and welfare benefits away from "real" Americans. As the Depression engulfed the United States in the early 1930s, fear and anxiety spread among the Mexican community as a result of the anti-Mexican sentiment that was developing. It turned out that local, state, and national officials had teamed up with private entities to launch massive efforts to get rid of them.

Official Selection: Chicago Latino Film Festival 2009


The Deportee's Wife *Special Live Performance*

By: Giselle Stern Hernández

View Trailer:

In this solo show, Giselle Stern Hernández’s marriage is laid out on the front lines of the North American immigration debate.  Giselle’s husband, Roberto was deported from Chicago, Illinois back to Mexico in April of 2001.  Giselle moved to Mexico to live with him in August of that same year.  While she was born and raised in the States, and they were legally married, it didn't make a difference at all; her husband was deported anyway, with the order to stay out of the U.S. for twenty years. 

And then there came the day that he wasn't allowed to enter Canada. 

Through music and images, she tells their unforgettable story.  In THE DEPORTEE'S WIFE, Giselle brings a clear, distinctive and personal voice to an issue that's often swept away between sound bites and presidential campaigns. 

Giselle tells you a love story you'll never forget.


April 11: Immigrant Conference Community Town Hall & Benefit After Party

Time: Saturday April 11th 7:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Town Hall Meeting & Cultural Festival: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Benefit After Party: 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Location: UIC Student Center West 828 South Wolcott, Chicago, IL

Ticket: .00/person (all income will be benefit National Immigrant Solidarity Network)

*This is a community safe space party, please no drug, no alochol*
*We'll have non-alcoholic bar to sell snack and soda*

Community Town Hall Keynote Speaker

Kim Bobo - Executive Director Interfaith Worker Justice

Kim founded Interfaith Worker Justice in 1996 and has since provided leadership and vision for building the organization and the movement for worker justice.

Prior to Interfaith Worker Justice, Kim was a trainer for the Midwest Academy, and Director of Organizing for Bread for the World. She writes a column for Religion Dispatches, a new online magazine. She is co-author of Organizing for Social Change, the best-selling organizing manual in the country, and author of Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing. Her new book, Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid - And What We Can Do About It, is the first and only book to document the wage theft crisis in the nation and propose practical solutions for addressing it.

Kim is the Choir Director at Good News Community Church, a multi-cultural congregation in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Kim and her husband, Stephen Coats, have twin teenage sons, Eric and Benjamin.

Town Hall Cultural Festival Performers


A collective of filipino cultural workers, activists, and musicians who began writing and performing original music in 1998 as a contribution to the first annual Kultural Night of Resistance celebrating the centennial year of Philippine Independance. Since then, Bagwis has composed several dozen pro-people songs and participates in community building for our youth, women, artists and migrante workers. BAGWIS music believes in THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE, in seeking genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines and in upholding human rights. In creating & performing this kind of music, BAGWIS hopes that it is contributing its humble share and effort in the overall struggle for justice and social change. Web:


Benefit After Party Performer

ReadNex Poetry Squad

Spoken Word Video:

Meet the ReadNex Poetry Squad, a group of four spoken word poets/emcees that have banded together to uplift urban communities through the power of music. Comprised of 4 esteemed lyrical “scholars” and 1 DJ—Decora, Free Flowin, Cuttz, Latin Translator and DJ H2O have managed to blend conscious social commentary with influences from Hip-Hop, Soul, Latin and Caribbean music, to create a unique sound that is already making an impact on not only the music industry, but the world.

The ReadNex have stuck to their commitment of being models for change and continue to hold monthly campaigns that range from fighting for the removal of U.S soldiers in Iraq to stopping the improper treatment of women in today's society. Currently they are re-developing their Nex to Read Program, a program geared towards helping today’s youth build their confidence and self –esteem through the power of poetry. The program was started in 2004, in Newburgh NY and is now being considered as an after school curriculum all over the state of New York.

National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!

New York: (212)330-8172
Los Angeles: (213)403-0131
Washington D.C.: (202)595-8990

Chicago: (773)942-2268
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