Forum, festival aims to illuminate Latino community

Published 4:26 pm Friday, August 15, 2008

By Staff
Organizers seek money from cityto pay for event
Contributing Editor
The Washington Human Relations Council supports a proposal to bring a forum and festival that focus on the area’s Latino community to Washington in October.
Representatives of the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, a nonprofit group organizing the events, also plan to ask the city for money to help put on the events Oct. 17-18.
The forum, slated to run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, will feature a keynote address by Helen Marrow from Harvard University. The forum — Immigration Realities and Opportunities: Beaufort County Testimonies in Courage — will focus on the economic contributions of immigrants in eastern North Carolina, according to the proposal. Marrow’s remarks will be followed by responses from a panel of four to six members offering information they believe is relevant to the forum. After the forum, a reception will be held.
The forum would target people who are not Latino, but it would be open to anyone who wants to attend, organizers said.
Another purpose of the event is to help register eligible Latino people as voters.
The Community Fall Festival would be held on the green space just west of the N.C. Estuarium the day after the forum. It will include Latino musicians, dancers and food.
Alsentzer and Pat Seibert, who also sought the council’s support for the event, said they plan to ask the city for money to help defray costs of the forum and festival.
Council Chairman Rick Gagliano said he plans to support the event by manning the council’s booth at the festival.
The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, the Eastern North Carolina Latin-American Coalition and individual volunteers are joining Amexcan in planning and promoting the forum and festival.