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Sites of Conscience revive history and value of immigration

(From Restore Fairness blog)

Arizona’s new immigration law has triggered intense debates on racial profiling and discrimination, reflecting a long-rooted anxiety about immigration issues in the United States.
But these debates aren’t restricted to the U.S. alone, with immigration-related controversies dividing countries including France, Belgium and Spain. Taking steps to ban the wearing of burqas in public, these countries have fueled divisive debates on religious freedom, discrimination and xenophobia. It’s a moment to look back and learn from the lessons from history. The Immigration Sites of Conscience, a network of 14 immigration history museums across the United States and Europe, are seeking to do exactly that, by remembering past struggles for justice and applying these to to understand today’s debates.

This is a crucial moment in time, and to prevent a backslide from democratic progress, the Sites of Conscience are offering unique opportunities for constructive dialogue by developing new public dialogues on community immigration issues at each of the sites through exhibitions, workshops, and public talks.

In Navigating Difference, a new interactive installation and program, the Sites of Conscience are taking this conversation transnational. At New York’s Ellis Island Immigration Museum, Italy’s Mu.MA/Galata Museo del Mare and Belgium’s Le Bois du Cazier, each museum will trace different paths that migrants have journeyed through time, simultaneously inviting visitors to answer a common question “Does immigration benefit my community?”. Through the installation, visitors will learn history, share their opinions, and see responses from both within their communities and from the sites in other countries. Beginning with this simple question, the new program will engage visitors in conversations that can be the first step in ‘navigating differences’ on immigration in Europe and the United States.

Join this incredible journey by become a part of this growing world-wide network and support historic sites inspiring social consciousness and action.

Photo courtesy of ellisisland.org

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org.

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