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At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present Harvest of Empire, a feature-length documentary that reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González,Harvest of Empire takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.

From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the U.S. control of Puerto Rico, Cuba and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Harvest of Empire unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the U.S.

As Juan González says at the beginning of the film “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.”

Harvest of Empire provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. The film features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalists María Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, and poet Martín Espada.

Guest speakers:

 

 

Dr. Joseph Orosco, Associate Professor of Philosophy Director of the Peace Studies Program at Oregon State University

Dr. Orosco joined the OSU Faculty in fall 2001. He received his Ph.D and M.A in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside, and his B.A in philosophy from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. His primary area of interest is in social and political philosophy, particularly democratic theory and global justice. He teaches classes in American Philosophy and Latino/a and Latin American thought, with an emphasis on Mexican culture, history, and immigration to the United States.

Orosco is director of the Peace Studies program and teaches about issues of peace and nonviolence. Students can receive a Peace Studies certificate through the program.

Orosco has written on the political theory of various figures, including Josiah Royce, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Cesar Chavez. In 2008, his first book, “Cesar Chavez and the Common Sense of Nonviolence,” was published by University of New Mexico Press.

He serves as a faculty advisor to MEChA and the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez and is a founding member of the OSU Faculty and Staff for Peace and Justice. For several years, he produced “Engage: Conversations in Philosophy, the podcast program of global culture, engaged philosophy, and transformative concepts.” He is currently the co-editor of the Journal for Philosophy in the Contemporary World, and serves on the editorial boards of the Transactions of the Charles Pierce Society, the Inter-American Journal of Philosophy, and the Review Journal of Political Philosophy.

He has been a guest on National Public Radio’s “Philosophy Talk” and is a frequent speaker on issues of peace, nonviolence and the life of Cesar Chavez at venues around the country.

When he’s not doing philosophy, he enjoys travel, listening to Afro-Cuban music, practicing West African drumming, and salsa dancing.

 

Levi Herrera-Lopez, Executive Director, Mano a Mano Family Center

Mano a Mano is the oldest Latino community organization in the Salem-Keizer area. Established in 1988, the mission of Mano-A-Mano is to help strengthen families in Marion and Polk Counties.

Levi has been a community organizer since 1997, when he first joined the Latinos Unidos Siempre (L.U.S.) Youth organization. Levi is a first generation multi-racial immigrant from Mexico, and has lived in Oregon since 1992. He graduated from Portland State University in 2002 with a degree in Intercultural Communications and Latin American Studies.

Levi Herrera-Lopez has been a volunteer for the Salem Keizer School District’s Budget Committee since 2015. The committee is an advisory group established by statute to make budgetary recommendations to the school board.

 

Joel Iboa, Coalition Coordinator for Causa Oregon 

Joel manages One Oregon, a statewide coalition that defends against anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies and ballot measures and works to ensure that all Oregonians, regardless of country of birth, are treated with dignity and respect. The son of immigrants, Joel was born and raised in Eugene. He majored in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Oregon . Honing his skills in Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) as well as other social justice groups as a student, Joel entered the environmental justice movement as an advocate championing increased protections for farm and forestry workers exposed to chemicals in the workplace. Joel serves as Vice Chair for the Human Rights Commission (City of Eugene) as well as the youngest appointed Chair for the Governors Environmental Justice Task Force.