Luther College hosts special lecture, “Finding Humanity at the Border”

August 26, 2019

Francisco Cantú speaks to the terror and tragedy migrants face when attempting to cross the border

            As the "crisis at the US-Mexico border" makes news headlines daily, Luther College welcomes author Francisco Cantú to give the Opening Convocation address, "Finding Humanity at the Border," at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in the Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall on Luther's campus. The event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

            With the goal of understanding the complex and tragic realities of border crossings, Francisco Cantú served as a U.S. border patrol agent beginning in 2008. When an immigrant friend traveled back to Mexico to visit his dying mother and didn't return, Cantú felt moved to uncover the full story. His memoir, "The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border" depicts the cruelties the border creates for those on both sides of the line.

             Cantú's book was the campus-wide summer reading for the 2019-20 academic year and will be the first text discussed in Paideia 111 classes this fall as first-year students seek to answer the question, "what connects and what divides us?"

Kathy Reed, Paideia program director, is one of the instructors teaching the course and said, "By writing so eloquently and powerfully about his experiences, Cantú has deepened our understanding of the complexities of the U.S.-Mexico border."

            Prior to his convocation address, Cantú will take part in an onstage interview with Wanda Deifelt, professor of religion, incorporating questions submitted by Paideia students and community members from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, in the Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall. The interview will be followed by a book signing and an immigration resource fair, offering information about local groups that aid immigrants and families. Wednesday's event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

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