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Features

Bread & Roses concert to benefit immigrant/refugee rights coalition

Bread & Roses women’s chorus will present its concert “Room at the Table” at 3 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church in DeKalb.
Bread & Roses women’s chorus will present its concert “Room at the Table” at 3 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church in DeKalb.

Bread & Roses women’s chorus, directed by Peggy Safford, will present its concert “Room at the Table” at 3 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 830 N. Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb.

Admission to the concert is free, but a free-will offering will go to benefit the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social and political life of our diverse society.

“We believe there is room at the table for all people in the just and compassionate world we continue to strive to bring about,” Safford said in a news release.

The concert will be a mix of Christmas and Hanukkah songs to celebrate the season, songs about peace and justice and finding “Room at the Table,” and several new pieces the group was introduced to at the Sister Singers Network Festival this summer. One of the songs, written by one of the festival’s honored guests, Moira Smiley, called “Refugee,” encourages people to view those looking for asylum in the United States through the lens of their humanity.

Bread & Roses members thank all those who attended their last two concerts, donating funds for members to attend the inspiring gathering of women’s choruses from across the country. B&R members said they had an amazing time, and hope this season’s concert-goers enjoy the sounds they bring back.

The chorus will perform one and part of another of its songs in Spanish, in a gesture of respect for the immigrants and refugees among us from Mexico and Central and South America. In addition, the audience will have a chance to sing along with the chorus on a few holiday pieces.

This concert’s beneficiary, the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and its member groups and partners assist individuals and families gain access to education, health care and other safety net services, offer English and citizenship test preparation, register new immigrant voters and engage community volunteers in the democratic process.

In addition, ICIRR fought for the authorization of a religious ministry to immigrants detained in county jails for immigration enforcement purposes and led a successful fight against the opening of seven for-profit immigration prisons in Illinois and Indiana. For more information on ICIRR, visit www.icirr.org.

Bread & Roses delivers messages of diversity, peace and justice, protection of the environment, women’s empowerment and acceptance for all. The choir members put their words into action by donating the proceeds from most concerts to local organizations serving people in need.

For information on the chorus, visit www.breadandroseschorus.org.

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