News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: February 20, 2003 (03-12)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952
or Dr. Francine Jamin, 240-567-1385

Prominent American Studies Speaker to Appear
At Montgomery College, Takoma Park Campus
Presentation by Dr. Martin Ford Set for March 27 

"Melting Pot or Mixing Bowl:  How Immigration Shapes Our History," a talk by Dr. Martin Ford, Associate Director of the Maryland Office for New Americans, will be presented on Thursday, March 27, at 3 p.m., in the Bliss Room of the Commons Building at Montgomery College, Takoma Park Campus.  The presentation, sponsored by the Adventures of the Mind Club, is free and open to the public.

America has long claimed to be "a nation of immigrants."  Some of our most potent national symbols -- the Statue of Liberty, the Melting Pot, and the American Dream -- derive from our tradition of immigration.

As Census 2000 figures reveal, America -- and Maryland, in particular -- is now in the midst of the greatest wave of immigration in its history.  Newcomers no longer come predominantly from Europe.  Now they come from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Montgomery College, itself, is a case in point, as its students come from nearly 170 nations of origin.

In light of these trends, Dr. Ford addresses issues such as these:  How do these new immigrants compare with their Ellis Island predecessors in skills, education, and attitude?  How does America compare with other immigrant-receiving countries?  How does our legacy of immigration prepare us to compete with other post-industrial nations in the "New Economy"?  Dr. Ford's presentation will trace the great waves of American immigration and will discuss American reaction to newcomers and how our attitudes have changed over time.

Dr. Ford is Associate Director at the Maryland Office for New Americans and former Executive Director of the Maryland Ethnic Heritage Commission.  He has taught at Bowie State University and Towson University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Liberia.  He received a B.A. in English Literature from Rutgers University, an M.A. in International Studies from Ohio University, and an M.A. and PhD. in Cultural Anthropology from SUNY--Binghamton.

This presentation is funded by the Maryland Humanities Council.  The Council is an independent, nonprofit, statewide affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  In 1997 the NEH provided federal funding, representing 75% of the Council's overall budget for operations, programs, and services.  Additional support for Council programs is provided by Maryland's Division of Historical and Cultural Programs and by foundations, corporations, and individuals throughout the state.

For more information on this program, contact Dr. Francine Jamin at 240-567-1385.

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