The 2016 One Book, One Community (OBOC) program featured "Enrique's Journey" by Sonia Nazario and "City of Thorns" by Ben Rawlence.
"Enrique's Journey" by Sonia Nazario
The power of “Enrique’s Journey” is its singular look at the personal experience of one boy, who sets out alone from Honduras to find his mother in the United States. Enrique’s mother left him with relatives as a small child and, as he grows up, all he knows of her is sporadic phone calls and money sent home for food and clothes. With the desperate hope of finding her, Enrique embarks on a harrowing, 2,000-mile journey on the dangerous rooftops of the freight trains speeding north toward the U.S. He makes 11 attempts to reach the U.S. before he is successful, but, as with many migrants, when he arrives, a new struggle begins – the struggle to adapt to life in a foreign land.
"City of Thorns" by Ben Rawlence
Ben Rawlence’s “City of Thorns” takes readers inside the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya – a City like no other where the citizens survive on rations and luck. Rawlence became a first-hand witness to the strange and desperate land and, in his book, he interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp. Brought to life by the people who call Dadaab home, “City of Thorns” is a lucid, vivid, illuminating and, oftentimes, heartbreaking story of survival.
2016 Calendar of Events
KICK-OFF EVENT: An Evening with Sonja Nazario
Sunday, Aug. 28; 7 p.m.
East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road
Meet author Sonia Nazario as she discusses her experiences, talks about “Enrique's Journey,” answers questions from the audience and signs books. Admission is first come, first serve. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
A recording of the event will also be replayed on East Lansing's government Ch. 22 (WELG) on Sundays and Mondays at noon and 8 p.m. and will be available to borrow at the East Lansing Public Library beginning Sunday, Sept. 4.
MSU Academic Welcome featuring Sonia Nazario
Monday, Aug. 29; 9 a.m.
Jack Breslin Student Events Center, MSU Campus
Sonia Nazario will address MSU's incoming class at the MSU Academic Welcome. Open to the general public.
Community Event with Ben Rawlence
Wednesday, Sept. 14; 7 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road
Ben Rawlence will speak about his book, "City of Thorns," at a special community event at the library. All are welcome to attend.
Other OBOC Events
Sam Jury: To Be Here
May 14-Nov. 27
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, MSU Campus
To Be Here is a video and sound installation by British artist Sam Jury about the suspended trauma of displacement endured by Sahrawi refugees living in the Boujdour Camp in southwest Algeria. The installation is available for the public to view through November 27, 2016 at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Admission is free.
Art Exhibit featuring Paintings by Local Refugee Youth - "Picture Our Stories"
MSU International Center Lobby, 427 N. Shaw Lane
Community members are invited to view art created by local area youth in Samaritas' refugee foster care program.
Writing Workshop: "In Praise of the Human Spirit"
Sept. 6, 13 & 20; 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
All Saints Episcopal Church, 800 Abbot Road
Each year, Anita Skeen - a professor in the Residential College in Arts & Humanities at MSU - leads a writing workshop that ties into the OBOC program theme.
MSU Libraries Film Series: "La Pirogue"
Wednesday, Sept. 14; 7-9 p.m.
Green Room (Four West)
Moussa Touré's drama chronicles a group of West African immigrants who attempt a hazardous illegal crossing to mainland Europe.
Lansing Storytellers Project - "Crossing Borders"
Tuesday, Sept. 20; 7-9 p.m.
University Club at MSU, 3435 Forest Road
The Lansing State Journal is partnering with OBOC to host its next Lansing Storytellers Project in East Lansing. The theme of the event is "Crossing Borders." The event will feature stories from immigrants, refugees and travelers. This event is open to the community. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Every one who pays in advance is guaranteed a seat.
MSU Libraries Film Series: "Which Way Home"
Thursday, Sept. 22; 7-9 p.m.
Green Room (Four West)
This film shows the personal side of immigration as child migrants from Mexico and Central America risk everything to make it to the US riding atop freight trains.
Writing Workshop Participant Reading
Tuesday, Sept. 27; 7 p.m.
(SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St.
Community members are invited to hear participant readings from the One Book, One Community Writing Workshop: "In Praise of the Human Spirit." Light refreshments will be provided.
The Immigration Debate: Open vs. Closed Borders
Thursday, Oct. 6; 2 p.m.
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center Auditorium, 219 S. Harrison Road
Following the debate, there will be a reception for attendees in the Red Cedar Room. Registration is free, but necessary to ensure space.