The 2nd Act Players will host discussions on immigration issues following the first two Sunday matinée performances of its fall play, New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House. Three speakers active in the immigrant rights arena already have agreed to take part and more have been contacted to participate in the discussions which will follow shows Sunday, Nov. 4 and Sunday, Nov. 11
The featured speakers are:
Marcelo Ferrer, a community organizer at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, a community-based organization advancing diversity, leader development, and models for engagement as the catalyst for social justice. As a refugee from Chile, he is very passionate about immigration issues. He currently co-directs LSNA’s immigration services program that focuses on citizenship and DACA as well as advocacy. Last year, Marcelo worked with a group of committed Evanstonians to successfully amend the Welcoming Evanston Ordinance, which further limited Evanston Police’s interaction with ICE.
Alejandra L. Ibañez, lead program officer at the Woods Fund Chicago. Alejandra brings nearly two decades of experience as a community organizer, convener, and leader in Chicago’s nonprofit, philanthropic and public sector. Prior to her arrival at Woods, she served as the program officer at the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. Before entering the philanthropic sector, Alejandra served as the executive director of Pilsen Alliance, a social justice organization committed to developing grassroots leadership in Pilsen and neighboring working class, immigrant communities in Chicago’s Lower West Side. Alejandra was born in Chile and has called the United States home since her family’s arrival in the 1970s.
Analía Rodríguez, executive director of the Latino Union. Rodriguez is an immigrant from Mexico with more than 10 years of experience in strategic planning, financial management, supervision, leadership development, mentorship, and advocacy.
“The 2nd Act Players strives to make our plays just the beginning of a larger discussion on major issues of the day, which is why we’re having these discussions,” says 2nd Act Cofounder John N. Frank.
The 2nd Act Players in May had held panel discussions following performances of its #MeToo Play Festival, for example.
“This new play looks at first generation children born here trying to become American as their immigrant mother fears they are losing their heritage in the process. Such acculturation issues are the same for all immigrant groups, whether past or present. We’ll touch on those in our discussions but we’ll also update the immigrant experience to the present day, looking at issue very much in the news now.”