Free film and discussion on immigration reform

Feb. 2, 2011

Mequon -- Unitarian Church North is hosting a free screening of award-winning documentary "9500 Liberty," a film on immigration law, on Saturday, February 12, at 1 p.m. A panel discussion will follow the film. The public is invited. The church is located at 13800 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon.


"9500 Liberty" chronicles a divisive immigration debate in Prince William County, Virginia, which passed, then repealed, a law similar to Arizona’s SB 1070. The controversy began with a proposed law that required police to question anyone they had "probable cause" to suspect was an undocumented immigrant. A raging debate followed, fueled by fear and racial division, as the citizens considered the economic and other impacts of the law.


Unitarian Church North Minister Rev. Julie Forest said the church is hosting the event to raise awareness of the effects of immigration issues on entire communities. “As Unitarian Universalists, we stand on the side of love, and we work toward a world where all people are treated with compassion and justice,” Forest said. “We want to educate ourselves about immigration issues and expand the conversation so that all voices are heard.”


A discussion following the film will feature a panel of experts in immigration issues, including: Edward Fallone, Associate Professor at Marquette University Law School; Joseph Rivas, attorney, Hochstatter, McCarthy, Rivas & Runde, S.C.; and Christine Neumann-Ortiz, director, Voces de la Frontera.


The film has won many awards. Washington Post Film Critic Desson Thomson said, “ . . . it’s as powerful a booster of the democratic process as anything Frank Capra ever imprinted onto our collective memory.”


Author John Grisham said, “'9500 Liberty' makes it clear that when we, as a nation of immigrants, debate the immigration issue, we are defining our very identity as Americans.”


UCN is hosting the event in conjunction with Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH). The event is part of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Standing on the Side of Love Campaign,” which compels Unitarian Universalists to harness love’s power to stop oppression, exclusion and violence.


Unitarian Church North is an active, welcoming Unitarian Universalist congregation. In the quest for an authentic, personal theology, members consider the wisdom of the world’s great religious and ethical teachings as well as their own direct experience, conscience and thoughtfulness. The congregation includes people of many faith perspectives, including agnostics and humanists, who join together on their religious journeys and work to inspire spiritual and ethical growth; promote free religious expression; create a diverse and inclusive community; and work for justice in our world.


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