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updated: 3/5/2018 7:38 PM

ECC to host 'Immigrant Women's Roundtable' during Women's History Month

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  • Elgin Community College Irina Del Genio, Ph.D., associate dean of Liberal, Visual & Performing Arts, facilitates last year's Immigrant Women's Roundtable.

    Elgin Community College Irina Del Genio, Ph.D., associate dean of Liberal, Visual & Performing Arts, facilitates last year's Immigrant Women's Roundtable.
    Courtesy of Mark Carriveau

Submitted by Elgin Community College

Elgin Community College will host its annual "Immigrant Women's Roundtable" from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8.

The roundtable gathers immigrants from ECC and the community to tell their stories about coming to the United States, struggles they faced and hopes that helped them to endure. The event is free, open to all members of the community and will take place in the Building B Heritage Room, Room B180 at 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL.

The roundtable has been part of the college's monthlong celebration of Women's History Month for over 10 years. It began in March 2007 when Irina Del Genio, Ph.D., ECC Associate Dean of Liberal, Visual & Performing Arts, searched for a way to connect immigrant women in the community to one another and to resources that they may not otherwise be aware of.

Guests are welcomed to share their diverse experiences, aspirations and advice during the event through a roundtable discussion facilitated by Del Genio, who emigrated from Russia in 2000. Attendees will learn how immigration issues impact women and society as a whole while listening to stories of women who have experienced it firsthand.

At last year's event, David Carrillo, ECC associate professor of human services, and Antonio Ramirez, ECC assistant professor of history and political science, spoke about immigration law and its impact on women; Del Genio plans to continue the dialogue through this year's theme "Immigrant Women in the Age of Uncertainty."

The topic comes at a time when U.S. immigration policies are being discussed and is consistent with ECC's ongoing community conversations regarding current events.

"It's time for immigrant women to come together, speak up and ensure their voice is heard," Del Genio said. "We want to provide a safe, supportive place where women can listen to each other's stories and the community can seek to better understand the adversity immigrants face."

Women are encouraged to share their stories during the event as roundtable panel participants. Community organizations and agencies that provide resources and assistance for immigrants are also invited to attend the event.

For information about the event, to become a roundtable panel participant, or to attend the event as a community organization or agency representative, contact Irina Del Genio at (847) 214-7864 or

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