Hannah Gill, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, & Viridiana Martinez: Border Stories: From the Desert to the Piedmont

Monday 2/11, 7 p.m.

Border Stories: From the Desert to the Piedmont

Please join us for a conversation with Stephanie Elizondo Griest (All the Agents and Saints), Hannah Gill (The Latino Migration Experience in North Carolina), and Viridiana Martinez (Alerta Migratoria), as they discuss liminal spaces, migratory patterns, and policy echoesand how despite distance, our Southern border still shapes us.

Stephanie Elizondo Griest is a globetrotting author from South Texas. Her five books include Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and HavanaMexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines; and All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands. As a correspondent for The Odyssey, she once drove 45,000 miles across the United States, documenting its history. She has won a Luce Scholarship to China, a Hodder Fellowship to Princeton, a Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting, and a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold Prize. Currently Associate Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she has performed on five continents in capacities ranging from a Moth storyteller to a featured author of the International Writing Program.

Anthropologist Hannah Gill is associate director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas and research associate at the Center for Global Initiatives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is author of Going to Carolina de Norte: Narrating Mexican Migrant Experiences and The Latino Migration Experience in North Carolina.

Viridiana Martinez is the director of Alerta Migratoria and has been an immigrant youth organizer since 2009. Through the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, she was instrumental in efforts that led to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. Viridiana, also, infiltrated Broward Transitional Center to expose the injustices faced by immigrant detainees. In spite of limited funding and resources, she founded the first ever immigrant youth led organization in North Carolina. She has been organizing for years to stop countless deportations across the country. Viridiana believes that directly impacted people must be at the frontlines of any successful campaign. She is currently a DACA recipient.

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Alerta Migratoria NC es una línea de asistencia comunitaria, dirigida por mujeres inmigrantes, que facilita y promueve la autodeterminación de refugiados e inmigrantes indocumentados. Paramos deportaciones por medio de cooperación colectiva entre comunidades directamente afectadas y aliados conscientes. A través de este proceso, promovemos el derecho humano de emigrar.

Alerta Migratoria NC is a community hotline, led by immigrant womxn, that facilitates and promotes the self-determination of undocumented immigrants and refugees. We stop deportations by engaging directly affected communities and conscientious allies. Through this process, we promote the human right to migrate.




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After a decade of chasing stories around the globe, intrepid travel writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest followed the magnetic pull home--only to discover that her native South Texas had been radically transformed in her absence. Ravaged by drug wars and barricaded by an eighteen-foot steel wall, her ancestral land had become the nation's foremost crossing ground for undocumented workers, many of whom perished along the way. The frequency of these tragedies seemed like a terrible coincidence, before Elizondo Griest moved to the New York / Canada borderlands. Once she began to meet Mohawks from the Akwesasne Nation, however, she recognized striking parallels to life on the southern border. Having lost their land through devious treaties, their mother tongues at English-only schools, and their traditional occupations through capitalist ventures, Tejanos and Mohawks alike struggle under the legacy of colonialism. Toxic industries surround their neighborhoods while the U.S. Border Patrol militarizes them. Combating these forces are legions of artists and activists devoted to preserving their indigenous cultures. Complex belief systems, meanwhile, conjure miracles. In All the Agents and Saints, Elizondo Griest weaves seven years of stories into a meditation on the existential impact of international borderlines by illuminating the spaces in between and the people who live there.

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Now thoroughly updated and revised—with a new chapter on the Dreamer movement and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA)—this book offers North Carolinians a better understanding of their Latino neighbors, illuminating rather than enflaming debates on immigration. In the midst of a tumultuous political environment, North Carolina continues to feature significant in-migration of Mexicans and Latin Americans from both outside and inside the United States. Drawing on the voices of migrants as well as North Carolinians from communities affected by migration, Hannah Gill explains how larger social forces are causing demographic shifts, how the state is facing the challenges and opportunities presented by these changes, and how migrants experience the economic and social realities of their lives.

Gill makes connections between our hometowns and the globalization of people, money, technology, and culture by shedding light on the many diverse North Carolina residents who are such a vital part of the state’s population but are often unrecognized in many ways. This book is essential for everyone, including students and teachers, who wants to understand what is at stake for all parties and wants to work toward solutions.

Event date: 
Monday, February 11, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469631592
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - July 10th, 2017

The Latino Migration Experience in North Carolina, Revised and Expanded Second Edition: New Roots in the Old North State Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469646411
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - September 4th, 2018