Madison College-Goodman South Campus will host “Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border ¡Mi travesía hasta Wisconsin!,” an exhibit that shares personal stories of Latino immigrants who make their home in Wisconsin, until next Monday, Nov. 4.
Goodman South Campus held a reception on Saturday, Oct. 26, for the exhibit. Goodman South Campus Dean Tina Ahedo said this was the first actual community event aside from the Grand Opening Celebration, which was held Sept. 28.
“We’re very proud to be a part of this event,” Climate & Culture Program Coordinator Jimmy Cheffen Jr. said. “We want to engage the community in meaningful ways.”
This is a traveling exhibit featuring the stories and photos of eight people from Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Uruguay who live and work in Wisconsin today. Some of them were in attendance at the Opening Reception.
Centro Hispano of Dane County worked closely with the Wisconsin Humanities Council, a journalist, and a photographer to create this traveling exhibition. The organization helped make connections with Latinx immigrants throughout Wisconsin who were willing to share their personal stories.
“I have been very open about my journey as an immigrant since after my senior year of high school, so that was about 10 years ago,” participant Cinthia Téllez Silva said.
Silva, Healthy Schools Program Coordinator at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee, found a voice and support system among friends and mentors. She said this allowed her to feel safe enough to speak up about her experience of being a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient.
“It’s heartbreaking to share things that are personal to you but I think it’s important to share you support this and why you support this,” Silva said.
She would like to share what she has learned from her experiences with others to hopefully empower them. Silva explained she felt the importance of speaking about the challenges immigrant students face in college, however, she also said sharing her experiences as a DACA recipient also made her concerned about her family’s status as well.
“I think parents always want the best so I think this is kind of a fulfilled dream that ‘my kids are going to do better and they’re doing what they want to be doing’ but I think it’s a contrast of selflessness and the pursuit of happiness,” she said.
Silva is one of the eight participants who shared their stories for this exhibit which will be on display at Madison Area Technical College’s Goodman South Campus until Monday, Nov. 4. Then, the exhibit will move to the Truax Campus on Wednesday, Nov. 6 until Nov. 18.
“These are just the stories of our community and hopefully we can share them with other people who know even less about our community so we can hopefully create some change,” Centro Hispano Executive Director Karen Menendez Coller said.