Hispanic Heritage Month Opening Ceremony with Roy Germano
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 19:09
This past Thursday (Sept. 20), the Office of Diversity Services and Suffolk University’s Hispanic Association (SUHA) held the Hispanic Heritage Month Opening Ceremony. Guest Speaker, Roy Germano, attended the event to discuss immigration issues regarding Mexico and the United States.
The ceremony began at 1pm, with an address from the Director of Diversity Services, Craig Cullinane. Cullinane spoke to the students about what Hispanic Heritage Month was, and the history behind it. Right after, the President of SUHA, Lina Rodriguez, spoke to the crowd and encouraged them to take this month to explore, embrace and celebrate their culture, whether they were Hispanic or not.
At this moment, Roy Germano took the floor. Germano wrote and directed The Other Side of Immigration, an award-winning documentary. He holds a PhD. from the University of Texas, where he conducted research in the Mexican countryside on the causes of emigration and the impact money that migrants send home have on their families.
Germano also spoke about his experience with immigration, doing research and learning about it. The idea to begin studying this came after working at a restaurant in Chicago, and seeing that most of the kitchen staff was made up of immigrants. He began wondering what caused these people to migrate from their homes, put themselves – and children – at risk, just to come here.
He explained the process that immigrants go through to get here, crossing the Arizona dessert and all the literal walls the US has put up to defer them from entering the country. Germano also explained the difficulty of coming to the US “legally”, saying that it's harder for Hispanic immigrants to be granted a visa or citizenship, when compared to all other groups around the world.
Roy Germano not only gave some insight in the process of immigration, and the way the US literally makes it impossible for migrants to come enter the country, he also provided some solutions. Germano suggested that starting programs in other countries, like Mexico, that focus on education and enterprising the youth would encourage people to stay in their countries rather than migrate to the US.
He also explained how he thinks education plays a big role in this issue, and emphasized that if people are educated and feel they can help in their country, they are less likely to see migration as an only option.
Overall, the event was a success. The guests enjoyed the speaker, and asked one-on-one questions afterward. They also were able to enjoy some Hispanic food, while learning all about Mexican immigration.
SUHA’s next Hispanic Heritage Month event will be this Thursday, September 27 at 6:30pm in the Donahue Café. They will be having their annual food fair, in which you can taste different free food from all over the world!
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