This site is no longer updated.

Current Vassar news can be found at; otherwise you can browse recent archived news items.

Gillespie Forum to host discussion on Dutchess County immigration. Sunday, November 4, 2007

POUGHKEEPSIE — Is Dutchess County a microcosm of the nation when it comes to immigration? This is just one of many questions that will be addressed during the June and Aaron Gillespie Forum's community panel discussion entitled "Immigration in Dutchess County."

The event will take place on Sunday, November 4, at 2:00 pm at the Family Partnership Center, 29 North Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie. It is free and open to the public.

Alison Mountz, assistant professor of geography at Syracuse University, will moderate the panel. Mountz is an expert in the cultural geography of migration and refugee circuits, as well as the implementation of immigration policy.

Among the many immigrant communities in Dutchess County, Hispanics are among the fastest growing, with a 50 percent increase between 2000 and 2005. The issues surrounding this growth have implications for other immigrant communities and all residents of Dutchess County. The changes force us to ask ourselves about the kinds of challenges and opportunities that immigration presents, and how our county represents, or differs from, the rest of the nation.

The discussion will include five panelists: Francesco Delmoral of the Benito Juarez Hispanic Association, Solange Muller of Hudson River HealthCare, Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries, Diana Vazquez of Workers Rights Law Center, and Mary Sherman of Migrant Education Outreach Program. Juan Basilio Sanchez will provide music at the event. The Mill Street Loft will also display children's art from their Habilidad program for Latino Children at Risk.

The event, presented as part of the June and Aaron Gillespie Forum, is co-sponsored by the Dutchess County Human Rights Commission, Association of Hispanics to Obtain Resources & Assistance (AHORA), and the Family Partnership Center.


The June and Aaron Gillespie Forum was established in October 1988 to honor two founders of the Unitarian Fellowship of Poughkeepsie. The local organization collaborates with Dutchess Community College, Marist College, and Vassar College to bring to the community speakers on topics that affect quality of life. For more information about the Gillespie Forum, please visit

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, October 26, 2007