Students will display immigration exhibit at the University Center

Throughout this semester, a select group of students enrolled in Literature in Immigration are putting together a final project that will be on display tomorrow, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of the University Center.

The project itself is a collaboration of literature read in class as well as facts regarding immigration, which is a hot topic in current media. It will be an interactive project that serves as an open forum for discussing the material of immigration as a whole.

“The reality is that these projects are accessible and more directly meaningful to the public at large than my books and articles,” said Dr. Paul Worley, the professor teaching the literature class. He added that the latter don’t lack meaning, but that this project is a way of engaging the community and demonstrating what the class is learning.

Those presenting hope to garner reactions from individuals and will present note cards for anyone who wishes to share their thoughts on both the exhibit and immigration itself.

“Working on this project was a great experience because we had to build up our knowledge on immigration and we also tested our own views of the topic,” said Elizabeth Byrd, a member of the group responsible for creating the project.

The works of literature featured in the display are all non-fiction accounts of life as an immigrant, both forced and by choice. “Diary of an Undocumented Immigrant” by Ramón T. Pérez is an autobiography of a man’s life in America as an undocumented worker, some of the racism he faced and more; Omar ibn Said’s autobiography recounts his life as an Arabic scholar forcibly moved to America as a slave under a family in Fayetteville, North Carolina; and finally, author Sonia Nazario captures the journey of a boy from Honduras trying to reunite with his mother in her book “Enrique’s Journey.”

“I feel this exhibit is important because it will help educate the public eye about some of the real struggles that immigrants face,” said Byrd. “I hope people see this exhibit and gain a better understanding of what immigration is.”

Each literary work is accompanied with statistics and quotes pertaining to the concept of migration. At least one student will be available throughout the project’s presentation to provide further information and accept feedback for the exhibit.

“Regardless of my personal views on immigration,” Worley noted in his email, “I hope the students successfully communicate their own informed perspectives through the exhibition in such a way that they are proud of and can stand behind their work.”

For more information on immigration data and statistics, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website here.

For more information on the process it takes to gain legal status, visit the government’s website that provides a bevy of links in regards to becoming a U.S. citizen.