Charlemont Forum considers topic of migration in 14th season

By BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer

Published: 06-11-2023 2:01 PM

CHARLEMONT — For its first event of the season, the Charlemont Forum will host Westy Egmont, former associate professor and founder of the Immigrant Integration Lab at Boston College’s School of Social Work.

Egmont’s talk will take place on Thursday, June 15, at 7 p.m. at the Charlemont Federated Church, 175 Main St. It will also be available on Zoom.

The theme of this year’s speaking series is migration. Mary Ann Adams, media representative for the Charlemont Forum, explained organizers picked the topic because “it is a political flashpoint and morally compelling as a humanitarian.”

Egmont’s talk, titled “Balancing Act: Border Protection and Humanitarian Acceptance,” will draw on his work with the Immigrant Integration Lab. Topics will revolve around integration, comparative social policy, immigrant and refugee policy, and the process of foreign-born persons becoming full participants in their new country.

“Immigration impacts every sector of our society,” Egmont said. “Beyond political talking points, the future of the country rests on who we are, how we continue to build our nation and how we address issues that are flashpoints dividing neighbors.”

Among the questions Egmont will consider are whether a robust immigrant population dilutes our democracy and whether the United States is still, as President John F. Kennedy called it, “a nation of immigrants.”

The Charlemont Forum will use its traditional format, with a presentation followed by time for questions.

“We ask for respectful dialogue,” Adams said.

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The Charlemont Forum speaker series started in 2010, and has had past discussions on topics ranging from religion in American political life to economic inequality. The presentations were held virtually in 2020 and 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following Egmont’s talk, the next presentation in this year’s series will be led by Alex de Sherbinin, who will speak about climate refugees on Thursday, July 20.

For more information about the event, visit the Charlemont Forum’s Facebook page at facebook.com/charlemontforum.

Reach Bella Levavi
at 413-930-4579 or
blevavi@recorder.com.

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