‘Welcoming The Other’ Event To Discuss Negative Rhetoric Surrounding Immigrants And Refugees

A mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh shook the nation to its core in October. In response, Penn State is attempting to raise awareness of the dangers of hate-filled speech through community event “Welcoming the Other,” slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 in the Katz Law Building’s Sutliff Auditorium.

In light of the recent tragedy, Penn State faculty and administrators will speak about the importance of immigrant and refugee acceptance. The event is meant to ignite dialogue about hateful rhetoric and violence against immigrant and refugee groups.

President Eric Barron, along with a multitude of advocacy speakers, will extend their knowledge, expertise, and experience on the subject. Rabbi David Ostrich, a lecturer in Jewish Studies, A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, the director of the Penn State Latino/a Studies Program, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, the Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar at the Penn State School of Law and founder of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, and moderator Aaron Kaufman, executive director of Penn State Hillel, will all speak at the event.

“I thought we needed to remind ourselves who we are as a community and a nation, to reaffirm our responsibilities to each other, to more actively stand up for each other,” Sandoval-Strausz said in a release.

Sandoval-Strausz highlighted the shooter’s campaign against migrants leading up to the attack on the synagogue, as well as the shooter’s decision to attack the synagogue because its members had been accepting refugees. At a time when questions regarding immigration and refugee matters have become such a contentious topic, it becomes the responsibility of the community to make sure tragedies like the Tree of Life Synagogue attack never happen again.

“Immigration is both divisive and widely misunderstood,” Wadhia said in a release. “In the last two years, changing immigration law and policy have had a profound impact on immigrants and the communities they live in. I hope this event fosters understanding about immigration and a shared responsibility for inclusion moving forward.”

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About the Author

Chloe Elizabeth Paul

Chloe is a junior from (the city with the best reputation, in all aspects) Cleveland, OH. Studying psychology and political science, she also loves to find the tea on the happenings of State College to let the people know what's new. Always on the go, she's very open to generous Starbucks donations (iced lattes with skim)! If you ever have something cool and newsworthy to share, feel free to reach her at [email protected].

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