Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ferrum's 2014 Women's Leadership Conference

by Jessa K., Panther Blogger

On March 11, 2014, Ferrum College hosted the Women's Leadership Conference.  The annual conference focused on immigration issues this year.  There was an alumni panel, a panel of young women from Bassett High School, a keynote speaker, a movie, a call to action, a parade, and an artist speaker.  The entire day was filled with a lot of great information.  It was helpful to those who agree with the subject matter as a rallying event, but it was also really great for those who may not agree with immigration reform or who may not have understood what immigration reform was all about.

For me, the best part of the event was the panel of seniors from Bassett High School.  There were two undocumented young women as well as two first-generation U.S. citizens.  Their stories were truly touching - there was not a dry eye in the room.  These young women have had to face the difficulty of their family members having to return to Mexico, as well as face the realization that those who are undocumented will not be able to attend a college or university the same way their U.S. citizen friends will be able to.  One of the alumni on the alumni panel, Norma Valez, explained the response to the panel of Bassett High School girls when she said "if you don't agree with immigration reform, go talk to someone who is undocumented. If your opinion is still the same after you have heard their story, I will respect your opinion."

In order to create a documentary about immigration reform, my Spanish 302 classmates and I videoed the majority of the speakers and got interviews with many of them.  It was truly amazing to be a part of the 2014 Women's Leadership Conference on campus. At Ferrum, there is no shortage of ways to make our country a better place!

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