When Define American approached us to help plan their annual film festival, we were thrilled to be considered, and then honored to be chosen. It was an undertaking unlike any AELO has seen, and it was a massive success! Guests enjoyed an art installation of portraits of Dreamers by Helday De La Cruz, a VR demonstration, gained some knowledge at a census exhibit, took part in thought provoking discussions, laughed through a comedy night, and of course enjoyed the important films telling these stories. After each screening, guests enjoyed informative panels, featuring Nico Santos, Bambadjan Bamba, Reshma Shetty, Bethany Yellowtail, Paola Mendoza, Ala'a Basatneh, and many others.
From their website, "Define American is a non-profit media and culture organization that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America." This important work is done by a talented, dedicated, and wonderful team, with whom we had the pleasure to work for the planning process and three day weekend. You can still check out the livestreams of the panels on the website!
If you would like to join the cause and donate to Define American, you can do so here.