By Leonard Combs
Julissa Arce, a writer, public speaker and advocate of social justice, immigration rights and education equality will be speaking at the next Chautauqua lecture on Thursday, September 28, in the O’Donnell Hall located in the Whitlock Building.
Arce has made a career as a political commentator, risen through the ranks of Wall Street and published a book titled My (Underground) American Dream, which sheds light on what life is like as an immigrant trying to be successful in the United States.
Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and for College Spring.
Coordinator of the Chautauqua lectures, Erik Liddell, said the lecture will go into Arce’s childhood as an undocumented Hispanic-American, as well as her success in Wall Street – first as an analyst for Goldman Sachs in 2005 and then as their vice president in 2011.
The lecture will also discuss the situation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA) — the executive order passed by former president Obama which allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children stay as long as they work or attend school — which is currently at risk of being repealed.
Each year the Chautauqua lectures have a different theme, with this year’s theme being “transformation.”
“[Arce] is a living embodiment of transformation in many ways,” Liddell said.
Liddell referred to Arce’s journey as the daughter of an immigrant to her position in Wall Street and her role as an advocate for social justice.
“We need legislative resolution to [DACA], and Julissa Arce can help us get a better understanding of that issue,” Liddell said.
The lecture will last anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour. It will end with a Q&A segment where attendees are encouraged ask questions.
“Everybody is encouraged to bring questions they might have, bring viewpoints, so they might have a civil discussion and everybody leaves better informed,” Liddell said.