Branigan Cultural Center in November: the disability experience, Japanese internment, Tunisia


After reopening Oct. 1 after a hiatus of several months for renovations, Branigan Cultural Center (BCC), 501 N. Main St. Downtown, has three major presentations planned in November.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.: “Culture of Empowerment: Community Roundtable: The Disability Experience in Las Cruces.” Hear from community members what it is like to live with a disability in the Las Cruces area in a program moderated by Kay Lilley and Michel Wing of Beloved Community, a Las Cruces organization that calls itself a “grassroots endeavor” to build community for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (DD) like autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Beloved Community was created in 2013 after state Sen. Bill Soules, D-Doña Ana, introduced a state Senate memorial that created a task force and generated state funding for a demonstration project to serve community residents with DD.

BCC’s Culture of Empowerment is a series designed around the idea that people are powerful when learning together, the City of Las Cruces said in a news release. Each quarter’s topics have a single theme. The theme for October to December is disabled people.

  • Thursday, Nov. 18: 1 p.m.: History Notes: “Japanese Internment" with Selfa A. Chew, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the History Department at UTEP. BCC continues with its theme of “Asian History of the Southwest.” On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt set in motion a massive displacement of Japanese-American communities in the United States. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt ordered the interment of persons of Japanese descent in concentration camps. Soon, they were joined by Latin American men, women and children of Japanese descent. Uprooted from their homes, they were transported from their countries of residency or citizenship to border camps in the United States.
  • Thursday, Nov. 18, 5:30-6:30 p.m.: “What’s the Word: Arabic – A Trip to Tunisia.” Learn about the culture, food and music of the northernmost country in Africa This will be an in-person event at the Branigan Cultural Center classroom. Register to attend by emailing

BCC, 501 N. Main St. Downtown, is accessible from RoadRUNNER Transit Route 1 Stop 36.

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