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DARE TO DREAM: Important Conversations about Immigration

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A Conversation with Author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas, Roberto Lovato

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“Electrifying. . . . Throughout this panoptic personal narrative, Lovato aims to reframe Salvadoran American identity itself. And at a crucial national moment, he also reminds us that diaspora Latin Americans in the United States . . . share a collective experience marked by historical trauma but also enormous wells of resilience.” -- Daniel Hernandez, Los Angeles Times

The Dream Project and our partner, Busboys and Poets, are pleased to announce the next event in our ongoing book-talk series, Dare to Dream: Important Conversations about Immigration.

On May 20, we will welcome journalist and author Roberto Lovato, who will discuss his book Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas, in conversation with Dr. Marie Price, Professor of Geography & International Affairs, and Director of Graduate Studies at George Washington University. Dr. Price is a member of the Board of the Dream Project.

"Gripping and beautiful. With the artistry of a poet and the intensity of a revolutionary, Lovato untangles the tightly knit skein of love and terror that connects El Salvador and the United States." —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Natural Causes and Nickel and Dimed

An urgent, no-holds-barred tale of gang life, guerrilla warfare, intergenerational trauma, and interconnected violence between the United States and El Salvador, Roberto Lovato’s memoir excavates family history and reveals the intimate stories beneath the headlines about gang violence and mass Central American migration, one of the most important, yet least-understood humanitarian crises of our time—and one in which the perspectives of Central Americans in the United States have been silenced and forgotten. Lovato’s story is vital to understanding what is happening along the southern U.S. border.

The child of Salvadoran immigrants, Roberto Lovato grew up in the 70s and 80s in San Francisco as MS-13 and other notorious Salvadoran gangs were forming in California. In his teens, he lost friends to the escalating violence, and survived acts of brutality himself. He eventually traded the violence of the streets for human rights advocacy in wartime El Salvador where he joined the guerilla movement against the U.S.-backed, fascist military government responsible for some of the most barbaric massacres and crimes against humanity in recent history.

Roberto returned from war-torn El Salvador to find the United States on the verge of unprecedented crises of its own. He channeled his own pain into activism and journalism, focusing his attention on how trauma affects individual lives and societies, and began the difficult journey of confronting the roots of his own trauma.

In Unforgetting, Roberto interweaves his father’s complicated history and his own with first-hand reportage on gang life, state violence, and the heart of the immigration crisis in both El Salvador and the United States. In doing so he makes the political personal, revealing the cyclical ways violence operates in our homes and our societies, as well as the ways hope and tenderness can rise up out of the darkness if we are courageous enough to “unforget.”

You won't want to miss this timely and important conversation. Register now to receive the link to the webinar and mark the date on your calendar.

Purchase your book online from Busboys and Poets affiliate storefront on Bookshop. When using this option, books go from the warehouse straight to your door! Bookshop.org is a third party site so we cannot accept Busboys and Poets gift cards on that platform.


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