“14 The Movie: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark and Vanessa Lopez” will be shown Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in Student Union Room 2592.
“We believe this documentary is perfect to show during Hispanic Heritage Month because this is a topic that affects Latinos on campus directly and indirectly through ourselves, family and friends,” Arturo Ordoñez Vazquez, graduate assistant for Latino initiatives in the Office of Multicultural Student Success, said.
“14” explores the recurring question about who has the right to be an American citizen. The documentary examines the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment through personal stories and history. The story is told through the lives of three American families who changed history by their challenges to the status quo.
“This film was chosen because it explores the question about who has the right to be an American citizen,” Ordoñez Vazquez said. “Even today, some want to restrict birthright citizenship to children whose parents are U.S. citizens or permanent residents only if they are born here themselves. Many of our students have family members who are undocumented or have ancestors from other countries. It’s a perfect film to show during a month of diversity celebration in order to spread knowledge on the issue. In addition, immigration is a huge topic right now with the next presidential election.”
He said he hopes that UT students and community members open their hearts to this issue.
“Many of the undocumented people in the U.S. have planted their roots here and have U.S. citizen families. You can’t label all people the same or tear families apart,” Ordoñez Vazquez said.
“The film also introduces the case of Dred and Harriet Scott, who claimed they were enslaved in the Missouri territory. Although a court agreed that they were free, upon appeal the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, as descendants of Africans, they did not have freedom. In other words, all black people in the United States and its territories could be stripped of any right at any time because they were not truly citizens. This is a film we can all relate to as immigrants,” Ordoñez Vazquez said.
A question-and-answer session will follow the documentary.
The free, public screening is part of the University’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
For more information, call the Multicultural Student Success Office at 419.530.2261.