Screening of Welcome to Shelbyville by Kim A. Snyder. This powerful documentary takes an in-depth look at Shelbyville, a small Tennessee town in the heart of the Bible Belt, as it grapples with discrimination in the face of changing demographics. On the eve of the 2008 presidential election, Shelbyville’s longtime residents are challenged with how best to integrate a burgeoning Latino population, as well as the recent arrival of hundreds of Somali refugees of Muslim faith, hired by the local Tyson chicken processing plant. Without taking sides, the film presents the concerns and aspirations of all members of the Shelbyville community with dignity and respect. And it tracks the attempts of a group of citizens to address their fears of cultural difference by reaching out to their neighbors in new ways, with unexpected and often inspiring consequences.
Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience. The Becoming American series is a three-month public program featuring documentary film screenings and moderated discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.