The Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning at Hodges University will host two free sessions on the history of Immokalee, its people and its culture. The sessions will be held at the Moorings Park Learning Center, on Goodlette Road, just south of Pine Ridge.
The first session is based on the book, Immokalee's Fields of Hope. This presentation will cover the history of Immokalee's Indian, white, black and Tejano residents and its dominant immigrant populations: Mexicans, Haitians and Guatemalans. Attendees will learn of the political and social histories of the immigrants' home countries and the stories they have told. An update on immigration and farm worker issues will also be reviewed. This session will be held on July 22 from 10am to 11:30am.
The second session will highlight the life of Father Richard Sanders, one of the heroes in the historic story of Immokalee. Previously a Trappist Monk, Father Sanders founded Naples' first Spanish Mission at St. Peter the Apostle Church in 1978, and was later transferred to Immokalee's Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. He died there at age 47, and is buried next to his church. More than just the story of a monk called from his abbey to help the poor, this presentation will be an overview of modern history, including the effects of the writings of Thomas Merton, Cesar Chavez' farm worker movement and the struggles of the immigrants to make a home in their new country. This session will be held on July 29 from 10am to 11:30am.
Both sessions will be conducted by Carlene Thissen, author of several books on Immokalee.
The sessions are free of charge but reservations are required. To reserve a seat, please contact Christine Wheeler at (239) 598-6133.