Neguse, Juarez, Crow

From left, Rep. Joe Neguse, Juan Juarez and Rep. Jason Crow. The three will team up for a performance online for the Motus Theater on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2020.

U.S. Reps. Joe Neguse of Lafayette and Jason Crow of Aurora have a story to tell next week, but it's not their own.

The Democratic freshmen are teaming up to tell  the real stories of undocumented immigrants as part of a free online series for the Motus Theater, a Boulder-based nonprofit that creates dialogue around issues through creative expression.

The reading is from 6 to 7 p.m. online. It's free, but an RSVP is recommended, by clicking here.

The series is called the "UndocuMonologues." Wednesday night's show is presented in conjunction with Alejandro G. Iñarritu’s a virtual reality experience "CARNE y ARENA (Virtually President, Physically Invisible." The multinational virtual reality program is on display at at The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace in Denver until Jan. 31 in partnership with the Denver Center for Performing Arts, the Biennial of the Americas, the Denver Art Museum, the Latino Cultural Arts Center, the Mexican Cultural Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibit opened in October.

Iñarritu was the first Mexican director to be win an Academy Award, and he has 45 Oscar nominations to his credit, including best picture and best director nods for "Babel,"  "Birdman" and "The Revenant."

Neguse and Crow will be reading a story by Juan Juarez, a mechanical engineering student at Metropolitan State University who speaks about his worry and critical need for the preservation of the DREAM Act, the Obama-era program that allows immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to remain as long as they maintain good conduct.

“All of us who are telling our stories as part of the UndocuAmerica project are undocumented or individuals protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program," Juarez said. "What we want is for people to understand, to put themselves in our shoes. Our representatives and neighbors need to know the impact of immigration policies on undocumented people in our country."

Juarez also speaks to the attempts by society to vilify families who risk so much, live in the shadows to get by and depend on one another completely. He talks about his slightly older brother.

"When we were in elementary school Alejandro was always protective of me and our two younger brothers," Juarez writes. "I remember when I was eight some kids kept stealing my lunch money; when Alejandro found out, he gave me his money for lunch even though it meant he wouldn’t eat.

"When I was 14 and my mother and three brothers were crossing the desert to join our father in Arizona, it was 16-year-old Alejandro who stepped into my dad’s shoes and made sure nobody was left behind. He was constantly looking back to make sure we were all okay. And when it was freezing in the desert at night, Alejandro would do exercises to increase his body heat, and then wrap his arms around us to keep us warm."

Juarez is a board member for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and a leader for Northern Colorado Immigrants United.

"By creating spaces that offer proximity to the stories of undocumented people, the UndocuAmerica project is helping our fellow citizens understand the experiences of undocumented people and how we can work together towards a more just society,” said Tania Chairez, the Motus Theater’s national education and outreach director.

She added, “The UndocuAmerica project creates spaces of courage and civic hospitality that allow our guest readers to learn from the experiences of undocumented people and embrace our humanity.”

Each monologue is followed by a musical response around the same theme from Uruguayan musician Elisa Garcia, who lives in Boulder after studying anthropology at the University of Colorado.

The executive director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Lisa Duran, will join the online performance for a Q&A session following the reading by the congressmen.

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