UUCGB Diversity Series concludes with immigration discussion

The third and final presentation in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport's "Building Bridges In A Multi-Cultural Society" spring discussion series will be held Saturday, June 18, at 6 p.m., at the church, 275 Huntington Road, Stratford. The series has focused on combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination in American society today through public education and information sharing. It is co-sponsored by Showing Up For Racial Justice, Fairfield County.

The final presentation on June 18 asks the question "Has Our Lady In The Harbor Closed the Golden Door?" and will explore the crisis facing undocumented immigrant families living in United States who are already contributing to this country's diversity and way of life as well as refugees seeking resettlement in the United States. This discussion will include Connecticut legislation that has or could affect the future of families already residing in Connecticut and how concerned citizens may support their assimilation into our society.

Speakers for the interactive presentation will include Steve Volpini of Meriden, a social justice activist representing United Action Connecticut (UACT), and Ellen Messali, staff attorney for the Survivor Services Program of the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN) in Bridgeport.

UACT is a non-profit, interfaith organization of 12 religious communities whose mission for social justice has sought concrete improvements in the lives of families and individuals through the pursuit of affordable, quality healthcare  for the past 12 years, and for equity for undocumented immigrant families and individuals for the past six years.

Immigration Attorney Ellen Messali, who holds a Juris Doctor and Human Rights Certificate from the University of Connecticut School of Law, has been with IICONN for three years, but has been actively involved in advocating and securing asylum for immigrant families and individuals for six years. Her prior experience has included civil and family clerk positions in the Waterbury Superior Court under the Honorable Wilson Trombley and in the Milford Superior Court under the Honorable Robert Malone.

The discussion is open to all interested persons in the community, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. for light refreshments. There is no charge, but a donation is welcomed.