How one immigrant remains optimistic despite threats to DACA

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“As an optimist, I believe that the courts and bodies of government will rule in favor and propose keeping DACA and craft a path to becoming citizens of this country. Our country will keep talented young people who are and will be a well-prepared workforce and who will assume leadership roles to carry us forward as a successful, kind and peaceful society.” – Violeta Moser

Charlotte’s CreativeMornings chapter celebrated its second birthday on Friday, Dec. 1 with nearly 450 Charlotteans in attendance to hear Violeta Moser, executive director of Charlotte’s Latin Americans Working for Achievement, addressing the global theme of “Context” selected by CreativeMorning’s Minneapolis Chapter.

In her talk, Moser highlighted her 43-year journey from Lima, Peru to Charlotte, NC — including her early life, her arrival in the US, and her current work with students and education. In light of the political events of the past year, Violeta also put the needs, fears, dreams and new reality of Latinos in the United States into context – that there are generations of lives impacted by discussions taking place across the country. Behind the numbers used to back up one position or another are real people.

Moser immigrated to the United States in 1974 after a coup d’etat in her native home of Lima, Peru, and has become a naturalized citizen. After a successful career in banking and market research, Moser had an experience that brought her back to her own journey to the US and set her on a new path.

“After a few career moves and the birth of our child, we came to NC in 1983. While living in Greenville, I encountered migrant workers and started learning about the path of migrant children and families; my heart had its first jolt of the reality of what it’s like to be an immigrant and be in a new land from a different perspective,” said Moser. “It put their stories into a context I could understand. I saw their journey. And, I knew it.”

From there, Moser’s life brought her to Charlotte, where she began work with the Latin American Women’s Association, which became the current iteration of LAWA. Through this work, she has first-hand experience with families in Charlotte being directly affected by possible changes in legislation.

“The fear of being found to be ‘illegal’ in this country, deportation, and physical safety is causing many families to keep their children at home,” Moser said. “At one CMS school, the day after the presidential elections, the school reported nearly 70 percent absenteeism. Many programs in Charlotte reported losing students when families moved away, or went into hiding.”

But, through this, she has hope.

“We are a land of immigrants, and we are a strong country because we are immigrants looking to build a better life,” she said.

The morning also included a new Queen City Quiz Show segment pairing two City Councilpersons (Braxton Winston and Julie Eiselt) with two brand new Charlotte residents and asking them to identify prominent Charlotteans based on their toddler photos.

The morning ended with the surprise appearance of a 30-person ensemble consisting of a Carolina Voices, the brass section of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the Brass Connection Band playing Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” backed by CM/CLT’s house band, RevelWood Mission.

Missed it? Or want to re-live it?

If you weren’t able to be in the room on Dec. 1, there are two ways to experience Moser’s entire talk and a post-event discussion:

(1) CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO of the morning’s event courtesy of Charlotte Star Room.

(2) CLICK BELOW to hear the Charlotte Is Creative podcast, featuring complete audio of a post-event conversation between Violeta Moser and CM/CLT co-leaders, Matt Olin and Tim Miner:

Get Your New Year Off to a Creative Start at the Kickoff of CreativeMornings/Charlotte’s Third Season on Jan. 5

The next meeting of CreativeMornings/Charlotte will take place starting at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 5 and will feature live music, local coffee and food, a Queen City Quiz Show segment and more. The centerpiece of the morning will be a 20-minute talk from special guest, Liberty DeVitto, speaking on the global topic of “Anxiety.”

For 30 years, DeVitto was the drummer for Billy Joel’s band and played on every one of Billy’s hits up until 2006. Just pick up one of the 150 million copies of Billy Joel records sold in the last 30 years and you’ll hear why Liberty is called “THE songwriter’s drummer.” Aside from Billy Joel, DeVitto has always kept high-profile company, playing with Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, Elton John and many more.

DeVitto will use the Billy Joel song “Pressure” – a tune he helped write about the pressures that creatives experience to keep creating at a high level – as a jumping-off point to explore the theme of “Anxiety.” His talk will explore the theme on numerous professional and personal levels.

More information is available HERE.

Tickets for this event will be free and can be claimed online at 9 a.m. sharp on New Year’s Day morning – Jan. 1 — at www.CharlotteIsCreative.com. Tickets can go very quickly, so make sure to set your alarm and be at your computer on time – even if you’re up late the night before!

Photo: Courtesy of CreativeMornings/Charlotte

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