In The Shadows: Current State of Labor and Immigration in TX


7 PM  Thursday, 28 September 2017

Come join us as we screen preview clips of the upcoming feature documentary, “Building the American Dream,” which tells the story of the Texas construction industry through the lives of undocumented workers. In the deadliest state for construction, 1 in 2 workers are undocumented and face exploitations in the Texas industry. We will also play a segment of KUT reporter Joy Diaz’s latest radio series “Help Wanted, Get Out,” which traces the northward path of immigrants from their homes in Mexico, and tells the stories of how these immigrants’ lives are now woven into the fabric of the United States.

We will discuss immigrant labor issues in Texas and hear from the perspective of those working on the frontlines. Director Chelsea Hernandez will be joined by Christian Hurtado, a DACA recipient, who works in construction and faces a precarious situation as the future of the DACA program remains uncertain, and KUT reporter Joy Diaz.

This event is co-sponsored with ¡Cine Resistencia!
It is free and open to the public.


Light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.

*Building the American Dream has been supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, as well by the Ford Foundation, Seed & Spark, Latino Public Broadcasting, Firelight Media, and the Austin Film Society.


Chelsea Hernandez, Director of Building the American Dream

Native Texan and Mexican-American filmmaker Chelsea Hernandez is a 7-time Lone Star Emmy winning director, producer and editor for her work on Arts In Context, a documentary series produced by KLRU-TV, Austin PBS. Chelsea has been named one of Texas Monthly’s 10 Filmmakers on the Rise. Her short documentaries have screened at film festivals across the world and picked up several awards like Best Short Documentary at Austin Film Festival in 2012. She is a Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow and Latino Public Broadcasting Public Media Grant Recipient for her feature documentary in production, Building the American Dream.

Joy Diaz, Texas Standard reporter

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration. Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke NPR station WVTF. Joy speaks English and Spanish (which is a plus in a state like Texas). She graduated from Universidad de Cuautitlán Izcalli in Mexico City with a degree in Journalism. In 2008 she took a break to devote herself to her two young children, before returning to the KUT studios. She loves reading, painting and spending time engaging with the community.
Red Salmon Arts is a 501(c)3 grassroots cultural arts organization, with a thirty-year history of working with the indigenous neighborhoods of Austin. RSA is dedicated to the development of emerging writers and the promotion of Chican@/Latin@/Native American literature, providing outlets and mechanisms for cultural exchange, and sharing in the retrieval of a people’s cultural heritage with a commitment to social justice.

Cine Resistencia: A Summer Film Series showcasing the work of nascent and veteran filmmakers, media makers, producers, and directors that highlights Chican@/Latin@/Native American-centered documentaries, shorts, features, and works-in-progress.
Resistencia Bookstore, Casa de Red Salmon Arts, is a neighborhood center for aspiring writers, providing quality literature to Austin communities since 1983. Specializing in indigenous, Native American, Chican@-Mexican@, Latin@, African American, queer, feminist, and children’s bilingual literature.