We have all seen the horrific recent images of children separated from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and heard stories of people from Central American countries seeking asylum in the U.S. because of dangerous conditions back home. But what are those conditions and why have so many asylum seekers been coming of late?Activist Trebor Healey, Professor Susanne Jonas, and journalist Mary Jo McConahay will discuss this topic and read a bit of their writing on the issue Monday, October 29, 7pm at Folio Books, 3957 24th St. in Noe Valley. Admission and refreshments are free. A book signing will follow the event.Here is more about the panelists:Trebor Healey is the recipient of a Lambda Literary award, two Publishing Triangle awards and a Violet Quill award. He is the author of three novels, a book of poetry and three collections of stories. He co-edited the anthologies Beyond Definition and Queer & Catholic. www.treborhealey.com. Trebor works for Scalabrinianas Mision Con Migrantes Y Refugiados, which houses about 50 Central American refugees at a time for a period of 3 months and helps them gain asylum from the Mexican Government. https://www.facebook.com/Scalabrinianas-Misi%C3%B3n-con-Migrantes-y-Refugiados-1709823382589599/Susanne
Jonas has been an internationally recognized writer/expert on Latin America, particularly Guatemala/ Central America, for five decades. She has taught Latin American & Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz for 24 years and received a Distinguished Teaching Award. Since 1967, she has written and co-edited 22 books and over 100 articles and OpEds -- many translated into Spanish. Her book Of Centaurs and Doves: Guatemala’s Peace Process was designated a Choice “Outstanding” book. Since the 1990s, she is also a specialist on Central American migration and broader Latino immigration issues, and co-authored Guatemala-U.S. Migration: Transforming Regions (2014). She collaborates with Latin American colleagues and U.S.-based Latino community rights organizations. Her colleagues have honored her long writing/advocacy career at conferences in Latin America and the U.S.Mary Jo McConahay is an award-winning reporter who covered the wars in Central America and economics in the Middle East. As a journalist, her work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Ms., Salon, Sierra, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Parenting, The Progressive, National Catholic Reporter, and more than two dozen other magazines and periodicals. Most recently, she has written on emotional border issues for The Texas Observer. Her books include Maya Roads: One Woman’s Journey among the People of the Rainforest, Ricochet: Two Women War Reporters and a Friendship under Fire, and the just-released The Tango War: The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds and Riches of Latin America during World War II. Maya Roads received the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. She covers Latin America as an independent journalist.