TEDxVancouver Announces Jose Figueroa to speak at 2011 Program

Reluctant Salvadoran/Canadian activist to address the paradox of modern immigration policy in a post-9/11 society

VANCOUVER, Nov. 11, 2011 /CNW/ - TEDxVancouver is excited to announce that recently noted refugee and immigration activist Jose Figueroa will be added to this year's program.

Figueroa, who has been in Canada since 1997, was once a youth member of the University Student Union that was supportive of the FMLN political wing in El Salvador, which has recently been categorized as a "terrorist" organization. Fleeing El Salvador with his wife, Jose was a peaceful student having never taken part in any attacks or fighting between the guerrillas and oppressive government forces.

Recently many supporters of the Salvadoran refugee were outraged by a federal adjudicator's ruling that he be deported because of his membership in what the government has only recently called a "terrorist organization". This issue created a significant amount of media attention to not only Jose's story, but to the larger themes surrounding his case, and those of many other innocent refugees in Canada. Among his public and most vocal supporters, noted UBC professor Jerry Spiegel, recently stated that the FMLN was emphatically not a terrorist group.

Jose's talk will take a compelling look at the current stigmas of the "T" word and the dangerous paradox it has created within our current immigration system as the lives and admissibility of innocent refugees seeking immigration status in Canada are reviewed each year.


Martin Sheen, Director, Actor and Human Rights Activist

Christopher Ian Bennett, Former Leader, Green Party of BC and Human Rights Activist

Romeo Dallaire, Senator and Retired General

Nolan Watson, CEO of Sandstorm Resources and Founder of Nations Cry

Maxwell Cameron, Professor of Political Science, University of British Colombia, BC

Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment and former news journalist with Global Television

Jamie Moffet, Director, Return to El Salvador (Documentary)

Jerry Spiegel, Professor and Director of the Liu Institute for Global Studies, University of British Colombia

Mark Warawa, Conservative Member of Parliament for Langley, BC

Don Davies, NDP Member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Peter Julian, NDP Member of Parliament for Burnaby-New Westminster, BC

Sigfrido Reyes, Elected Member and President of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, FMLN

To learn more about Jose's Story please visit: http://bit.ly/josefigueroa

For more information about TEDxVancouver, please visit www.tedxvancouver.com. For regular event updates, follow @TEDxVancouver on Twitter.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED

For further information about TEDxVancouver:
 Visit www.TEDxVancouver.com

SOURCE TEDxVancouver

For further information:

Communications for Jose / TEDxVancouver:

604.614.5283 or 778.968.3173

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