Immigration, Racism, and the Changing Face of the Nation

15.09.2016 / 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Brown Center, Falvey Hall, Maryland Institute College of Art. 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore, United States.
Public conversation


Art has long been a method of expression, and artists throughout history have been instigators of change-engaging society in conversation about pressing issues. Established in 2005, Constitution Day continues the College’s tradition of leadership in raising and exploring important political issues.

E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist and National Public Radio commentator, will headline Constitution Day, a free annual symposium co-sponsored by MICA and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland.

The panel, moderated by WYPR’s Maryland Morning host Tom Hall, will also include Tania Bruguera, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship winner and performance artist, and Marielena Hincapié, director of the National Immigration Law Center.

The 2016 symposium explores immigration, racism and the impact of changing demographics on public discourse about what it means to be an American. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, racial minority groups will make up the majority of the nation’s population by 2042, but as the country becomes more racially diverse, a portion of the nation’s current majority white population has reacted with fear, and negative language and actions. With recent examples of xenophobic and racist speech used by major political candidates and officeholders in the United States and even abroad, and subsequent protests and divisive dialogue, panelists will discuss the changing face of the country and the issues motivating passion and divisiveness surrounding the issue. Immigration could well prove the deciding factor in the upcoming presidential election.

“This is clearly a crucial topic, which dominates the current political discourse and is giving rise to some really ugly comments from the public and those who want to serve the highest office,” said Constitution Day organizer and MICA Humanistic Studies Department faculty member Firmin DeBrabander. He added, “We need to clear about what’s going on here, why the ugliness, what fears people have, and what are the larger and contextual motivators of this divisive debate.”