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Your Guide to Immigration Panels and Sessions at Netroots Nation, 2011

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Minneapolis Netroots Nation 2011Hosted this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota — the “City of Lakes” and home to the Artist Formerly Known As Prince — Netroots Nation 2011 is bringing you a variety of plenaries and sessions all focused on immigration reform. For our devoted followers, make sure to tune in here and on twitter (or at netroots if you’re going) for more on the following immigration panels:

Thursday, 06/16/2011:

Life Since Vegas: How the Netroots Forced Action on DADT and DREAM: 9:00AM, L100 H
PANELISTS: Jackie Mahendra, Yahaira Carillo, Heather Cronk, Felipe Matos, Trevor Thomas, Joe Sudbay
This panel is a case study in what happens when fiery activism trumps cynicism and forces Washington to act, as was the case with the push to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the DREAM Act in the very last days of last year’s Congress. It’s not often that these two issues are taken together, despite the common struggles both LGBTQ and immigrant communities face. However, the highly parallel, fierce fights over DADT and the DREAM Act last year–both key issues at last year’s Netroots Nation–provide vital takeaways for the larger progressive movement.

The Future of the American Dream: 2:00PM, Community & Exhibit Hall
Come by the Community & Exhibit Hall for an interactive discussion with Markos Moulitsas and Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of NEA, on The Future of the American Dream: Why the DREAM Act is Important and Where We Go from Here.

Latino Caucus: 4:30PM, L100 D
Connect with like-minded folks and talk with others from your community in our identity caucuses.

FRIDAY, 06/17/2011:

Immigration and the Power of the Latino Vote: Why Harry Reid Came Back and Alex Sink Sunk: 10:30am, L100 FG
PANELISTS: Adam Luna, Markos Moulitsas, Eliseo Medina, Rep. Luis Gutierrez
Latino voters were critical to 2010 Senate victories and will play an even more central role in the race for the White House in 2012. But with the immigration reform promise still unfulfilled, President Obama under heavy criticism for deporting more immigrants than Bush and a Republican party searching for a Latino marketing strategy to mask their extremist agenda, where will these voters go? This panel will share polling and demographic data to uncover the enormous promise and challenge facing both parties as they develop strategies to court these voters in 2012. We will discuss the role of immigration reform as the key motivator for this growing segment of the American electorate and will discuss how candidates, like Majority Leader Harry Reid, modeled a winning strategy by delivering on their immigration promise.

Promoting People of Color in the Progressive Blogosphere: 10:30AM, L100 AB
PANELISTS: David Reid, Elsa Cade, Kyle de Beausset, Neeta Lind, Denise Oliver-Velez, Nancy A. Heitzeg
This panel will address the needs, successes and obstacles to having greater participation of people of color in the blogosphere. Using the models of Black Kos and Native American Netroots as a beginning point for the discussion, we’ll cover topics such as color-blindness versus representation and how to get historically underrepresented groups and their views heard. The discussion will focus on how to organize outreach between the larger blogosphere and blogs that are specific to communities of color, and how to form stronger connections to ongoing organizing efforts and activism in communities of color.
Educate, Agitate, Inspire: How Artists are Fighting Anti-migrant Hate: 10:30AM, M100 H
PANELISTS: Ian Inaba, Ken Chen, Javier Gonzales, Gaby Pacheco, Favianna Rodriguez
There has never been a movement for social change without art and culture being central to that movement. Music, graphics and the written word are powerful living reminders of struggles for worldwide peace and justice. When it comes to immigrants, much of the public dialogue is laced with myths, stereotypes, hate and fear of the unknown. However, there is a growing movement of artists around the country using cultural tools to fight hate and to create a positive depiction of migrants. In this session, artist-activists, writers and cultural leaders will discuss how artists are teaming up with immigrant rights groups to affect social change.

SATURDAY, 06/18/2011:

Taking Back Your State: How to Respond to Restrictive State Immigration Legislation: 1:30PM, L100 AB
PANELISTS: Seth Hoy, A. Elena Lacayo, Suman Raghunathan, Eric Ward
After passage of Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law (SB 1070), state legislatures began introducing copycat legislation in addition to other restrictive immigration measures. While most of those initiatives failed, restrictionist lawmakers and anti-immigrant groups have and will continue to push their enforcement-only agenda in state legislatures. Meanwhile, lawmakers seeking real solutions to our immigration problems have begun pursuing progressive immigration policies–many of which seek to boost economic and job growth on the state level. Join immigration policy experts as they discuss progressive legislative alternatives, the ramifications of pursuing anti-immigrant legislation, the restrictionists behind the laws and the available resources and strategies to help advocates and activists take back their states.
Immigration Strategy Session
: 3:00PM, L100 D
Led by Jackie Mahendra and Yours Truly
Interested in issues like immigration or education reform? Come to one of our new strategy sessions! Held in place of our typical issue caucuses, these moderated sessions are similar to caucuses, but aimed at forming greater strategic alliances on progressive issues including the environment, labor, LGBT community, immigration, women’s issues, social justice and education. We’ll look at case studies and discuss ways to work together better in the coming months.

Closing Keynote—Freedom from Fear: First-Person Voices from the Movement Moment: 5:00PM, General Session Hall A
Keynote speaker: Rep. Keith Ellison, with remarks from Reps. Raul Grijalva, Donna Edwards, and Arizona State Senator Kyrsten Sinema, and MSNBC host Cenk Uygur
In this “hearts and minds” session, we will hear first-person voices of immigrants and allies who are among the 15 winners of the new national Freedom from Fear Award, a one-time national award that will honor fifteen ordinary people who have committed extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees—individuals who have taken a risk, set an example and inspired others to awareness or action.