Great Decisions at the Library – 9/12/22

Walpole Demographics, Refugees, Immigration

“Great Decisions” will resume on Monday, September 12, in the Hubbard Meeting Room at the Walpole Town Library. The public forum will begin at 6:00 p.m., and Zoom participation will continue to be available from Library Director Jane Malmberg. 

We will begin our “Great Decisions” discussion with a short video entitled “America is Failing its Refugees and Itself”, produced by Ken Burns and his UNUM team. This film is available on Ken Burns’ UNUM educational website, a digital resource which explores the intersection of history and current events, providing historical perspectives on issues affecting us today, combining film footage, interviews and commentary. 

Following the video, Peggy Pschirrer, our doyenne of local demographics, will present some startling statistics. How have Walpole’s demographics changed over the past 50 years? What has happened to our farms, industries, housing and youth? And what are the implications of all these changes? 

The suggested reading (copies of which are available at the library) is a Foreign Affairs article: “America’s Refugee Revolution: How Ordinary Citizens are Taking the Lead in Resettling Newcomers” by Gregory Maniatis (July 27, 2022). Also recommended is a Noah Smith interview with Leah Boustan, research economist, describing the misconceptions we all have about immigration, which is available on Substack (and also at the library):

What are your views of immigration in the United States today? We will examine the various pros and cons and misconceptions surrounding this sensitive issue. Does this have any relevance to our community? You must draw your own conclusions. We welcome your participation either in person or via Zoom at 6:00 p.m. on September 12, 2022. For the Zoom link, please contact Jane Malmberg in advance of the meeting:

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