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Free virtual screening aims to tell complete story about immigration

Two North Carolina organizations will host a free virtual screening next week about the attacks on immigrants in the U.S. to tell a complete story about the harms perpetuated by immigration enforcement practices and policies that extend beyond the crisis at the border.

Whether it’s through raids, people being picked up at courthouses or being forced to live in churches – families are being separated and attacked across America. Stories Beyond Boarders will feature five short films that show a comprehensive picture of the attacks on immigrants across the country, according to a news release from Women AdvaNCe and Working Films.

The films build empathy but they also lift up real stories of resilience and strength while illustrating some of the ways people can give their time, energy, and resources to support immigrant-led organizing for safety and justice.

“Immigrant communities in North Carolina are on the frontlines during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stefania Arteaga, the Acting Regional Immigrants’ Rights Strategist for the ACLU of North Carolina. “Not only are they putting their bodies on the line, but they are receiving little to no inclusion in government relief efforts despite facing great economic and health concerns.”

The event will include a discussion with those who are working for immigrant justice during the COVID-19 crisis in North Carolina, including with Arteaga; Juana Luz Tobar Ortega who has been in sanctuary at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro since May 31, 2017; Stephany Mejia of Women AdvaNCe, a clinical social worker working in early childhood mental health; and Pilar Timpane, the Co-Director, Co-Producer, and Cinematographer of Santuario, one of the five featured films.

“A year ago, Santuario was broadcast and made widely available to the public,” Timpane said. “Juana remains in sanctuary and has not seen much change on her case. Today, as the world locks down in sanctuary around her, not much changes for her day-to-day. We are hopeful that people will look at the situation of those taking sanctuary differently after having to face isolation to keep their families safe.”

The Stories Beyond Borders screening will be hosted by Women AdvaNCe, a state-wide non-profit organization uniting women to share their stories to help shift policy, public knowledge and create a fair chance for every woman and every family. Stories Beyond Borders is a project of Working Films, a national nonprofit organization based in Wilmington.

The free virtual screening will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18. RSVP here.

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