Common Ground#878

Brooklyn Trail: A conversation on immigration

Featuring Theo Oshiro, Harold Solis, Jean Montrevil, and Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, with Ae Hee Lee


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Make the Road New York Co-Executive Director Theo Oshiro, Make the Road New York Co-Legal Director Harold Solis, and immigrant rights activist Jean Montrevil join Rail Editor-at-Large Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Ae Hee Lee.

In this talk

Theo Oshiro

Black and white photo of Theo Oshiro
As Co-Executive Director at Make the Road NY, Theo Oshiro leads high-impact service programs, including Adult Literacy and Health Advocacy, heads their Westchester-based work, and conducts key fundraising and finance functions. A Peruvian immigrant raised in Queens, Theo joined Make the Road in 2005 after receiving a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago. Theo helped expand Make the Road into New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, as well as special projects on immigrant integration, civic engagement, green space accessibility, and census advocacy and outreach. Theo has been recognized several times for his contributions to immigrant communities and was appointed to serve on city- and state-level policy task forces focused on immigrant health and health disparities.

Harold A. Solis

Photo of Harold A. Solis
Harold A. Solis is an attorney and the Co-Legal Director at Make the Road New York, the largest grassroots immigrant-led organization in New York state. His work at MRNY includes directing the provision of MRNY’s legal services on a range of issues, including asylum and other humanitarian forms of relief. Prior to joining MRNY, he was a Supervising Attorney at Immigrant Justice Corps, where he led its in-house removal defense practice and created IJC’s Long Island Project, a joint initiative between IJC and CARECEN-NY to increase access to representation for Long Island families in removal proceedings. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey.

Jean Montrevil

Photo of Jean Montrevil
Haitian immigrant and longtime activist Jean Montrevil was targeted for 30 years by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for his activism. Montrevil was deported to Haiti in 2018 under the Trump administration but got a second chance in 2021, when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam granted him a pardon for two drug convictions from three decades earlier, which ICE had used as a pretext to deport him. In April 2023, a U.S. judge ruled Montrevil would not face deportation again.

Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper

A photo of Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper
Community builder Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper served as Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church from 2006 to 2021. She was formerly at Coral Gables Congregational Church in Miami and before that at Yale University, and teaches leadership at the Hartford Seminary. As an elder, she is passionately concerned about leaving the next generation well-prepared for all they have to face. She has written over 35 books including Approaching End of Life: A Practical and Spiritual Guide (2015), Grace at Table: Small Spiritual Solutions to Large Material Problems, Solving Everything (2013), to her most recent book I Heart Francis: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer (2016), among many others. She is an Editor-at-Large at the Rail.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Ae Hee Lee reading.

Ae Hee Lee

A portrait of Ae Hee Lee
Born in South Korea and raised in Peru, Ae Hee Lee is the author of ASTERISM, selected by John Murillo for the 2022 Dorset Prize and forthcoming from Tupelo Press, and the poetry chapbooks Bedtime || Riverbed (Compound Press 2017), Dear bear, (Platypus Press 2021), and Connotary (Frost Place Chapbook Competition Winner – Bull City Press 2021).

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.