On April 1, 2022, Millions of Conversations partnered with the Grand Challenge Initiative on Racial Justice & the Third Reconstruction (RJ3) to host the fifth installment of the Racial Justice Teachout series. In this virtual event, we brought together a law professor, a community organizer, and an artist and art professor to discuss the fight for belonging in America and what solutions lay ahead for immigration justice. The discussion broke down the struggles of immigrant communities in Tennessee and celebrated the work of community organizers working to combat them.
Moderated by Vesna Pavlović, Associate Professor of Art at Vanderbilt, the panel included Dr. Karla McKanders and Sabina Mohyuddin. Pavlović’s work focuses on issues of memory and representation through photography and art.
Dr. Karla McKanders is a Clinical Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic. She teaches issues of critical race theory and immigration law. Professor McKanders supervises students providing representation to asylum seekers and unaccompanied minor children in their humanitarian immigration cases before the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and federal courts of appeals.
Sabina Mohyuddin is a Bangladeshi-American Muslim and Vanderbilt Alumna (‘93). She has published a number of articles in The Tennessean and was an outspoken critic of the 2011 anti-sharia bill in the Tennessee state legislature. She is a founding board member and currently the Executive Director of the American Muslim Advisory Council, which empowers the Muslim community in Tennessee through civic engagement, community building and improved media relations. She serves as the chair of AMAC’s yearly Empowering Women conference. Additionally, Sabina serves on the boards of the League of Women Voters Nashville and the National Organization of Workforce Diversity.
Here’s what we learned from this trio’s conversation.