The Catawba Valley Interfaith Council (CVIC) and Lenoir-Rhyne University's Department of Religious Studies invites the public to attend a free screening of the documentary short Santuario on Sunday, March 1st at 3 PM in Belk Centrum on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory. The screening will be followed by a discussion, with an opportunity for questions and answers from the public, by a panel of local experts on immigration and asylum. Panelists for the event will include Christine Merriman, a member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro, Carla Vesta, a local immigration attorney, and Catawba County Sherriff Don Brown.
Santuario is a documentary short about the experience of Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, who came to the United States over two decades ago as an asylum seeker from Guatemala. After being told she had 30 days to leave the country or be deported, Juana entered sanctuary at an Episcopal church in Greensboro in May of 2017. Unable to leave for work or be at home with her family, she is now completely confined to the church grounds.
Sanuario was the recipient of a Footcandle Filmmakers Grant in 2018, providing the filmmakers with funds to complete their film using proceeds from ticket sales from the previous year's Footcandle Film Festival.
CVIC is a local not-for-profit organization of faith-based and secular communities in the Catawba Valley serving as a catalyst for hope and cooperating for the purpose of dialogue, information sharing, and celebration. Their purpose is to create a more compassionate community and honor the rich diversity of religious, spiritual, and secular traditions in the community. The public is invited to attend this free event and support this important milestone in human rights history.