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Vanderhaar Symposium at CBU Looks at “Who Gets to Be American”

Stephanie Teatro Will Speak on “Who Gets to Be American: Immigration Policy and Our Multicultural Democracy”

The Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium at Christian Brothers University (CBU) is proud to present Who Gets to Be American: Immigration Policy and Our Multicultural Democracy with Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), as the keynote speaker for its thirteenth annual symposium on April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at CBU’s University Theater.

Through community organizing, policy advocacy, and civic engagement, TIRRC works to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state. A national leader in efforts to defend America's proud history of welcoming refugees, Teatro is the coauthor of the report Countering the Backlash: Strategies for Responding to Anti-Refugee and Xenophobic Activity from the New South. She is an executive committee member of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement and a board member of the National Partnership for New Americans. A Canadian by birth, she has called Nashville home since 2011.

Following Ms. Teatro's presentation, a panel of special guests representing those who are directly affected by current U.S. immigration policies will share from their own life experiences. Panelists include Mauricio Calvo, executive director of Latino Memphis; Karen Spencer, church and community engagement manager for World Relief Memphis; Dr. Nabil Bayakly, associate professor of biology at LeMoyne-Owen College; and Maria Herrera, a DACA student enrolled at CBU. 

Additionally, the Symposium honors one Mid-South area college student each year with the Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award, presented to the student who best exemplifies the spirit and practice of active nonviolence consistent with Dr. Vanderhaar’s life and work. This year’s awardee will be presented at the Symposium. Past awardees are profiled at

The Vanderhaar Symposium is free and open to the public.

More information can be found at

Posted by Cory Dugan at 3:39 PM