The first local WE project art installation is set to be unveiled on Friday, October 19th, at 5PM in downtown Columbia. It is a 10 by 14 feet banner of one of the project's pictures. This
exhibit could not have been possible without the generous support of
700 Cherry Inc., and Sarah Dresser, of the Office of Cultural Affairs at the
City of Columbia, and of the countless people who stand behind this
project. But most of all this installation could not have existed without the help and enthusiasm of Staci Lea Linthacum, John Hooker, Lisa Braman Bartlett and Kristin Nies, who worked hours to set it up, drove across town on various errands, offered countless advice, tolerated my incessant fretting and questions, and cheered. Thank you.
MYTH: Immigrants are a drain on our social services. FACT: By paying taxes and Social Security, immigrants contribute far more to government coffers than they use in social services.
In its landmark report published in 1997—arguably the most thorough national study to date of immigration’s fiscal impacts—the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that on average, immigrants generate public revenue that exceeds their public costs over time—approximately $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in state, federal and local benefits over their life times.1 This same conclusion was reached in 2007 by the Council of Economic Advisers in their report to the Executive Office of the President where they state that “the long-run impact of immigration on public budgets is likely to be positive,” and agree with the NRC report’s view that “only a forward-looking projection of taxes and government spending can offer an accurate picture of the long-run fiscal consequences…
Ana Garcia (left,) explaining the cultural importance of the song, La Llorona, with a translator who is also a friend, at the first Hispanic Heritage Month Festival in Mexico, MO, on Friday, October 12th, 2018. Ms. Garcia, a DACA recipient, is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, and organized the festival with the help of a few friends in this small rural town in the central part of Missouri, where she lives.
As the WE project expands, I have realized the need to tell the stories behind some of the people who came up to be portrayed in the series. In seeing each other in our differences we are all stronger, but sometimes portraits and words are not enough as the issues facing people who belong to marginalized communities are deep and complex. So, after the opening of the WE project exhibit in Columbia this weekend, today marks another opening: a monthly column, in words and photographs, on the lives of some of the WE project participants and the issues they face, as well as the lives they …