Ansley and Carpizo-Ituarte to discuss immigration issues

August 18, 2011
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

Frances Ansley, professor emeritus and distinguished professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, and Miguel Carpizo-Ituarte, East Tennessee organizer for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Center, will give a presentation on Tues., Oct. 25 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall.

Ansley and Carpizo-Ituarte, experts and activists who advocate for the rights and protection of immigrants in East Tennessee, will discuss the challenges faced by undocumented immigrant laborers in our area.

The presentation, which will begin at 7 p.m., is part of the College’s annual Community Conversations series, an annual lecture series conducted to facilitate conversations and discussions between members of the entire Maryville College community, citizens of Blount County and surrounding areas, College alumni and prospective students.

The theme of this year’s series is “People on the Move.” The series will include speakers who will address people moving in a variety of ways.

“Ms. Ansley and Mr. Carpizo-Ituarte bring years of experience and expertise on the issues surrounding immigration,” said Dr. Angelia Gibson, associate professor of chemistry and member of the Community Conversations committee. “As both an academic and an activist, Ms. Ansley can provide important perspectives on the social challenges faced by immigrant communities, as well as legal and political insights on the rights of immigrants. Having immigrated to the United States himself, Mr. Carpizo-Ituarte can help us better understand the struggles and successes of local Latino and Hispanic communities.”

Ansley holds a B.A. from Harvard/Radcliffe College, a J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee and a LL.M. from Harvard Law School. Although she retired from teaching in 2007, she still works with faculty and students from the UT College of Law on projects of mutual interest.

Her writings explore a range of issues, and her articles have appeared in a number of law reviews. More recently, Ansley has focused on immigrants’ rights and labor rights and the relationship between the two. She co-edited Global Connections and Local Receptions: Latino Immigration to the Southeastern United States, a 2009 book about Latino immigration to the Southeastern United States, and she is widely published in the areas of labor rights, race and gender, poverty and workers’ responses to globalization.

She served as principal humanities adviser for Anne Lewis’ film Morristown: In the Air and Sun, a documentary about the impacts of globalization in East Tennessee.

Ansley “has a special commitment to lawyering for and with organizations that are working to bring about grassroots, bottom-up social change,” according to the UT College of Law’s website. Throughout her career, she has provided pro bono representation, conducted legal and empirical research and worked as a community legal educator with a range of such groups.

She has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Heroes Award from the Latino Task Force of the Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee and the 2007 Great Teacher Award from the Society of American Law Teachers.

Carpizo-Ituarte immigrated to the United States in 2001 to serve as the Hispanic Coordinator for the Upper Cumberland region of the United Methodist Church. He developed a seminar for the non-Latino community called “Understanding the Latino/Hispanic Community” and was invited to speak to groups across the state.

He graduated from Tennessee Technological University, where he earned a bachelor of science in sociology with a concentration in immigration and cultural diversity. While in Cookeville, Carpizo-Ituarte took his passion for music and promoted Latin music through events called “The Colors of Rhythm.”

A “student of society, culture and people,” Carpizo-Ituarte has been involved in social justice, human rights and “the inclusiveness of every person into the flow of this world,” according to the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition website.

Dr. Kelly Battles, assistant professor of English and chair of the Community Conversations committee, said the committee hopes speakers will capture a broad range of possibilities, “especially the positive potential contained within human movement.”

“We envision this theme in an expansive way, encompassing human movement in geographic, spiritual, biological and cultural terms,” Battles said. “Speakers will address physical movement through space in the form of public policy debates about transportation and the way in which travel can shape one’s identity and worldview. We will also examine how immigration presents questions about public policy, as well as personal and cultural identity. Sometimes such movement can be contained within the mind or the body of the individual, and speakers on gender identity, spiritual identity, and death and bereavement will address this element of movement.”

Paola Mendoza, who wrote, directed, produced and starred in the award-winning 2009 film Entre Nos, kicked off the series on Sept. 13. Mendoza discussed her journey from poverty and homelessness as an undocumented child immigrant to stardom as an award-winning filmmaker, author and immigration reform advocate.

In November, Dr. Scott Henson, assistant professor of political science, will conclude the fall Community Conversations series with a presentation about the impact of globalization and economic development in rural communities.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the fall Community Conversations series, please contact Angelia Gibson at 865.273.8892 or

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.