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New Film for Dialogues on Racism and Immigration

We just heard about a great film resource for dialogues on racism and immigration in the US. The Letter: An American Town and the ‘Somali Invasion’ is directed by Ziad H. Hamzeh. Produced by Ziad H. Hamzeh, Bert Brown, and Marc Sandler, 2003. This 76-minute documentary film tells the story of 1,100 Somalian immigrants who relocated to Lewiston, Maine. At first the immigrants were welcomed, but soon fear and distrust broke out amongst the townspeople. Tensions erupted after the mayor sent a letter to the immigrants requesting that they tell their friends and family not to move into the town. The mayor claimed that the newcomers were straining town services. The conflict escalated into competing “hate” and “peace” rallies held simultaneously and separated by only a few miles. “The Letter” could help dialogue programs raise awareness in their communities about how racism and immigration intersect. The film could also help planners decide which of these issues to address in their community. If you are based in North America, you can purchase the DVD for $24.99 at www.arabfilm.com/item/300/ (VHS tapes are $19.99). For all purchases outside of North America please contact info@hamzehmystiquefilms.com. Learn more about the film at www.hamzehmystiquefilms.com/theletter/.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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