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(UPDATE) Emerson College cancels immigration reform soapbox event due to Boston bombings

Emerson College President Lee Pelton will join higher education, business, and technology industry leaders on Friday to call for smart and sensible immigration policies that he said will help the United States attract and retain "the world's best and brightest."

Got an opinion? Step on up. PHOTO CREDIT: vsa-global.com Got an opinion? Step on up. PHOTO CREDIT: vsa-global.com

Emerson College President Lee Pelton had planned to join higher education, business, and technology industry leaders on Friday to call for smart and sensible immigration policies that Pelton said will help the United States attract and retain "the world's best and brightest," however the event has been cancelled due to Monday's terror attack on Boston.

According to an Emerson College spokeswoman, "due to the extraordinary events of the past few days, the College has decided to cancel plans to have an event on immigration reform this Friday on the Boston Common. We are encouraging our community to share their thoughts on this topic with one another and with members of Congress between 11 am and 2 pm on Friday, April 19, using @EmersonCollege #iMarch on Twitter."

Modeled after the Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park, Emerson College was going to set up a temporary soapbox with an open microphone on Boston Common, near the entrance to the Boylston MBTA train station, on the Tremont Street side of the Common, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Faculty, students, staff, and guest speakers were invited to step up on the soapbox and share their views on immigration reform. The event is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place at Emerson’s Bordy Theater at 216 Tremont St.

“Emerson’s focus is on educating future leaders in communication and the arts—fields where it’s vital to give agency to voices that reflect our increasingly diverse society,” Pelton said in a statement. “I’m pleased to support this initiative to bring attention to current national discussions about immigration reform and to engage the Emerson community in civil discourse about an important social issue.”

The event was to show support for the Virtual March on Immigration, which is organized by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan coalition of more than 500 CEOs and mayors making the economic case for sensible immigration reform, and the National Immigration Forum, one of the nation's leading immigration advocacy organizations. The college's participation in the program will also include a social media awareness campaign on campus, using @EmersonCollege #iMarch to aggregate the discussion.

Background on Virtual March on Immigration:

On March 2013, the presidents of Cornell University, Arizona State University, and Miami Dade College wrote an open letter to more than 1,200 of their fellow education leaders calling on them to stand together on April 19 and address the need for immigration reform by speaking out on their respective campuses.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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