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Author Francisco Cantu speaks at Luther College about "Finding Humanity at the Border"

Posted: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 11:39 AM

Luther College welcomed author Francisco Cantu to deliver the Opening Convocation address to students, staff, faculty and community members in a packed Center for Faith and Life. Cantu drew from personal experiences working as a U.S. border patrol agent where he witnessed first-hand the cruelties the border creates for those on both sides of the line.

Cantu cautioned his listeners to resist becoming indifferent to the barrage of news of those at the border. "News can feel distant unless it affects us personally," says Cantu.  "Reject the casual dismissal of the immigrants' plight. Instead, allow their stories to become visceral." He added, "We must strive to be perpetually moved by injustice, rather than normalized by it. Having empathy is good, but it's not enough. Feeling and even tears are useless unless they propel us to do something."

Cantu's memoir, "The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border" was the campus-wide summer read for the 2019-20 academic year and will be the first text discussed in Paideia 111 classes this fall as first-year students seek to answer the question, "what connects and what divides us?"