Memorial Hall Library

Get educated about our immigrant neighbors.

Immigration series

Memorial Hall Library will host a four part series on immigration in collaboration with Courageous Conversations, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and the Social Justice Coalition. The series will focus on the hardships of the immigrant journey to the United States, the history of U.S. intervention in Central America (which plays a major role in the flow of Central American immigrants seeking asylum), the transformation of Lawrence into New England's first Latino-majority city, and the immigrant voices from Lawrence speaking to the struggles, as well as the strength and resilience, of immigrants working to rebuild Lawrence. Sign up at

Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00pm: Film Screening & Discussion of Who is Dayani Cristal
Who is Dayani Cristal tells the story of a migrant who found himself in the deadly stretch of the Sonora Desert known as the "corridor of death" and shows how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the U.S. war on immigration. This powerful docu-drama gives rare insight into the human stories that are so often ignored in the immigration debate. Directed by Marc Silver; winner of the Sundance 2013 Cinematography Award.
Thursday, February 28 at 7:00pm: Film Screening of Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America with facilitated discussion by Dr. Robert Forrant, Professor of History at UMass Lowell
The powerful documentary, based on the book by Juan González, exposes the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today. Sections of the film covering Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Mexico and the Dominican Republic will be screened, followed by a facilitated discussion.
Monday, March 25 at 7:00pm: Author Dr. Llana Barber: Latino City:  Immigration and Urban Crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1945-2000
Lawrence entered a downward economic spiral in the decades after WWII due to industrialization and suburbanization.  The arrival of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the late 20th century brought new life to the struggling city, as well as hardship and challenges.  Dr. Barber interweaves the histories of urban crisis in U.S. cities with the Latino experience in Lawrence.  There was no "American Dream" waiting for them in Lawrence; instead, Latinos struggled to build lives for themselves in the ruins of industrial America.
Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00pm: Voices from Lawrence Panel Discussion
A panel of immigrants will share their stories, their struggles, and the ever-emerging Latinx leadership that will showcase the strength of the community. This is an opportunity to see Lawrence in a new light with all that it has to offer.