SPRINGFIELD — Mary Gonzales, western territory director for the Gamaliel Foundation, will facilitate Dialogues on Immigration and Community Organizing on Friday, April 18, at the University of Illinois at Springfield. All of the sessions are free and open to the public.
The Gamaliel Foundation is an international institute working to build faith-based organizations in the United States, Canada, and South Africa. Gonzales will lead discussions focusing on the idea of embracing power and self-interest. She explained, "The structure of the world operates with those in power doing what they want, and those without power living with the consequences of others' decisions. These workshops are designed for individuals interested in operating in 'the world as it is' rather than 'the world as they want it to be.'"
At 1 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library, Gonzales will make a presentation that is offered as part of the ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience) Speakers Series at UIS. Those unable to attend in person can see a live webcast at www.uis.edu/technology/uislive.html and later access a video on demand at www.uis.edu/its/otherservices/webcasting.html.
Gonzales will also lead a workshop from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in conference room H, lower level of the Public Affairs Center.
Later that evening, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., also in PAC H, the dialog will continue in a presentation by Marti Jones, an attorney and advocate for The Immigration Project, and Lawrence Benito, associate director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
The workshops are sponsored by UIS' Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Organization of Latin American Students and the Central Illinois Chapter of National Image Inc.
Growing up in a tough Chicago neighborhood, Gonzales became active in community organizing at a young age. She is now widely considered to be one of the country's most gifted speakers on community organizing and women's leadership development and is recognized as one of the most effective trainers in the art of grass-roots organizing today.
At the Gamaliel Foundation, Gonzales is currently developing community organizations in five counties in Southern California and in the Bay Area and also serves as a consultant to two island-wide organizations in Hawaii. Before joining the Foundation, she was the founding director of the Metropolitan Alliance of Congregations, diverse faith communities representing many races, income levels, and cultures.
Anthony Sisneros, UIS associate professor of Public Administration, noted, "I applaud our Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Christopher Miller, for providing these workshops as a most effective mechanism for demonstrating responsiveness to the needs of the community-at-large throughout Central Illinois. I am very excited to learn from our national, state, and regional expert presenters, Mary Gonzales, Marti Jones, and Lawrence Benito."
Programs in the ECCE Speakers Series are campus-sponsored lectures by speakers who exemplify engaged citizenship. More information about ECCE is available from Kimberly Craig at 206-6245.
For more information about Gonzales' workshops at UIS, contact Sisneros at 206-6545.