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Community Reading Project

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Blood Drive
Sponsored by the CRP and the
American Red Cross Club
Dec 10, 11:30-5:30pm
Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room
Enter to win the book,  Five Days at Memorial

2013-2014 Media

Online Video Interviews

BookTV: Reyna Grande, "The Distance Between Us: A Memoir"

KennyTVOnline, The Distance Between Us, by Reyna Grande Interview

The Latino Author.com, Reyna Grande, The Distance Between Us

Radio Interviews, "The Morning Show" with Shelley Irwin, a Weekly Series

Brian Jbara will be in studio on January 6th for the 10 AM interview. A interview talk about this year's book and theme with an outline of the local/regional context we're developing through the Monday interviews, the contextual conversation culminating with the author visit. The weekly interviews will be local stories from immigrants/migrant workers/refugees and organizations who serve them.

January 13 10:15  Sue Garza & Steffanie Rosalez, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities Cook Library Center, This is such a relevant issue for so many of the hard-working families that they serve. They will talk about how the immigration issue affects some of the families they serve, both directly and indirectly. They have examples of families who have been fractured and/or are facing huge legal expenses because a parent was arrested by ICE, and they are also aware of the added stress that undocumented families experience.

January 20 10:30 Monica Zavala, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities Cook Library Center. She came here from Mexico, as did her husband. She is very articulate and savvy. She has 3 children, works part time with the Cook Library Scholars program, is highly involved with her childrens' education, and is going to college, herself. She recently wrote a paper about immigration wherein she reflected on the concept of the "American Dream" - challenging that notion.

January 27 10:15 Maureen Homrich, Bethany Christian Services Refugee. Maureen is the community outreach liaison for Bethany. She put together questions for you to consider, including the following: 1. Where do the youth come from? 2. What kind of circumstances do the youth come from? 3. Why is there such a great need for families? 4. What are the ages of the youth? 5. What happens when they turn 18? 6. Is adoption an option? 7. What kind of training is necessary for licensed foster parents? 8. Is there trauma therapy for the youth who have been through a lot? 9. Do the teens respond to a loving, caring home? 10. What role does Bethany Christian Services play? 11. What is the history of Refugee Foster Care? 12. What countries do you currently serve? 13. How do the foster families respond to learning a new culture, food, language and traditions.

February 3 10:00 Selene Lacayo (Abou-Maarouf), Selene is a GVSU graduate and will talk about the process to become legal permanent residents in the US. She will address her perspective of Immigration Reform that includes people having a fast track to permanent residency while she and her husband had to do it the right way. She believes illegals should get to the back of the line.

February 10 10:15 Melissa L. Stek, LLBSW, KSSN Community School Coordinator, Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center. (CANCELLED)

Melissa will talk about her grandmothers story, a daughter of immigrants from the Netherlands. As she learned more about her family's story over the years, it is striking how similar her story is to that of many Latino immigrants she knows now. She thinks it is worth including as a reminder that we all came, at one point or another, from an immigrant family.

February 17 (take a break)

February 24 at 10:15am: Ruth Stenfors, Elder Refugee Advocate for Senior Neighbors

March 3 10:00 Steffanie Rosalez, We continue our weekly segment leading up to GVSU's Community Reading Project. Today's spotlight is on Steffanie Rosalez, Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities Cook Library Center.

March 10 9:30 AM Liz Keegan, Fair Housing Center of West Michigan. Liz will talk about the undocumented who are discriminated against in our community who have little or very limited housing rights due to their status. The FHCWM tends to partner with agencies who work with these populations on addressing the fair housing barriers and opportunities  including Bethany, ICCF, Lutheran Social Services, and more. Often, people who have experienced discrimination are reluctant to talk about it as well.

March 24 9:30 am; Adier Deng, President, Africa Hands of Hope Foundation, a relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to the equalization of opportunities that will enable disenfranchised individuals to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Inspired by Faith and Hope, we are dedicated to working with vulnerable people groups. Realizing the unfortunate reality that we must limit our focus, it is our intent to target a demography that is statistically probable to regenerate our model. AHOH is constructing an 8-classroom facility and 2-bed medical clinic in a remote village of Dong, Southern Sudan. Once completed, the school will shelter 400 boys and girls at risk of disease and illiteracy in the village. Children who live in the villages will have access to education at the local village school, mentoring, healthcare, and job skills training when appropriate. Most importantly, they will be raised in an environment where they are valued and loved in their own village. Adier is also an employment specialist with Bethany Christian Services.

March 24th at 10:30am: Reyna Grande, Author of "The Distance Between Us" will be on the radio live to talk about her book and her life experiences.

Television Interviews

An interview with Reyna Grande, author of the book selected as Grand Valleys 2013-2014 Community Reading Project, will air February 3.

Ask the Community Reading Project Expert: Susan Im


Grande will discuss her immigration experience detailed in her book, The Distance Between Us, on the program Feel Like You Belong. It airs on Community Television station WKTV (Comcast channel 25 and AT&T channel 99) at 8:30 p.m. and will be available on the website FeelLikeYouBelong.com following the broadcast.
Feel Like You Belong introduces guests, such as Grande, who have made the immigrant journey to the U.S. The stories, of both struggle and success, aim to help newcomers feel more confident. Earlier segments have included interviews with Michigan Board of Education member Lupe Ramos-Montigny, (now former) Detroit Tigers catcher Brayan Pena, The Right Place president and CEO Birgit Klohs and dozens of others.

Written Interviews

Daniel Olivas Interviews Reyna Grande for the Los Angeles Review of Books

Author, Lorenza Munoz of The Daily Beast talks to Reyna Grande