As the presidential election approaches, students at the University of Houston-Victoria and area residents will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of being an active voter through a presentation by inspirational speaker Jesús Nebot.
Nebot will give three presentations for the UHV Provost’s Lecture Series. The filmmaker and entrepreneur will present “Illegal Immigration Crisis: Perspectives and Solutions” at noon Sept. 26 in the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Crossroads Progressive Voices is co-sponsoring the lecture.
Later that day, attendees are invited to a showing of Nebot’s film, “No Turning Back,” at 6:30 p.m. in the UHV University North Kay and Ron Walker Auditorium. A discussion will accompany the screening. Then, at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 27, Nebot will deliver his presentation “Presidential Election ’16: It’s Your Time. It’s Your Choice.” in the University North Multi-Purpose Room. All three events are free and open to the public.
“Mr. Nebot is one of the best speakers I’ve heard on the topic of immigration,” said Margaret Rice, UHV’s special assistant to the provost. “He is engaging and provides historical, economic and humanitarian perspectives. He’s going to present enlightening data and some common-sense solutions.”
Nebot originally was scheduled to speak in April, but the presentation was rescheduled because of flooding in Houston. The event is part of UHV’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.
“In recent years, illegal immigration has become a common, controversial topic, especially during election years,” said David Cockrum, UHV interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As November’s presidential election approaches, conversations about this important topic need to be held, and I am glad to welcome Mr. Nebot to Victoria to share his perspective with UHV and the community.”
In his youth, Nebot was an undocumented immigrant working in the fields. Now, he is an award-winning filmmaker and inspirational speaker. He has spoken to educational, cultural, nonprofit, business and civic organizations in 10 countries. His mission is to inspire personal and social healing and transformation.
Nebot’s presidential election program is a nonpartisan, highly interactive presentation designed to engage first-time voters. It encourages them to exercise their right to vote and empowers them to voice their opinions on political issues. Nebot will offer a unique perspective on the U.S. Constitution and the democratic process. He will use games to inspire students to work toward positive change.
During his presentation on illegal immigration, he will share facts about its origin and history, and its current economic and social impacts in the U.S. He also plans to discuss effective, comprehensive and long-lasting solutions that people can implement in their communities to make a difference. Rice said Nebot has a list of common sense solutions he will share with the audience.
Nebot said audience members will have an opportunity to voice opinions about immigration reform and find out what politicians and newscasters are avoiding telling the public about illegal immigration.
“There’s a lot of polarization about illegal immigration based on inaccurate facts, and we don’t need any more divisiveness,” Nebot said before his first visit to UHV in 2015. “What we need is to look at the root causes that are creating this massive influx of people and work collectively to prevent this situation. As an educator, I help people examine these causes and empower them to choose humanitarian solutions.”
“No Turning Back” narrates the story of Pablo, a Honduran teacher who, after losing his wife and home to Hurricane Mitch, illegally immigrated to the U.S. in an attempt to offer a better future for his 5-year-old daughter, Cristina. The movie was inspired by actual events. Nebot wrote, directed, produced and starred in the film, which was picked up for distribution by Universal. The movie trailer can be viewed at www.jesusnebot.com/movieTrailer.htm.
“It’s a thought-provoking film with a surprising and heartwarming ending,” Rice said. “I’m eager to hear him talk about the film afterward.”
The Provost’s Lecture Series began as part of the university’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2013 as a way to bring more opportunities for scholarly discussion to UHV. Previous lectures have included discussions about civil rights leader Casey Hayden, life and politics in South Africa, and Texas before the Alamo. The last speaker was Sandra Spencer, a professor and director of women’s and gender studies at University of North Texas, who discussed human trafficking in Texas.