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Postville Project

The Postville Project is an initiative to preserve and exhibit the media and stories surrounding the 2008 immigration raid and the memories  of the Postville, Iowa community before, during, and after that event. The collections in this project include news articles, photographs, personal papers, federal court documents, and much more. This is a collaborative effort between the University of Northern Iowa Rod Library and the Luther College Archives.

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Collections within The Postville Project:

Araceli Castañeda Five Year Anniversary Photo Collection

Photographs created by Araceli Castañeda documenting the commemorative events of the five year anniversary of the Postville Raid. The events took place in Cedar Rapids on May 10, 2013, and included a Remembrance Ritual in front of the Federal Court House, a Walk for Justice from the Court House to Immaculate Conception Church, and a service of Interfaith Prayer for Reconciliation and Call for Reform.

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Catholic News Service Collection

A collection of news articles that cover the Postville community post-raid, written by the Catholic News Service, a news agency specializing in reporting religion and a primary source of national and world news that appears in the U.S. Catholic press.

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Cedar Valley Community Forum Collection

A video collection of lectures and presentations that took place at the University of Northern Iowa and in the communities of Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

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Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Collection

A collection of newspaper articles written by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

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Erik Camayd-Freixas Collection

A collection of materials written and organized by Erik Camayd-Freixas, professor of Spanish and graduate program director; director of translation and interpretation program at Florida International University; and federally certified interpreter. Camayd-Freixas was one of the 26 interpreters who started the court hearings in Waterloo, Iowa, on May 13, 2008, and one of approximately 16 who worked the entire two weeks of hearings following the raid. This collection explores Camayd-Freixas' observations and experiences working as an interpreter following the raid. He has put together several well detailed and documented pieces that were shared with members of Congress, the U.S. Attorney General and the general media.

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Julie Berg-Raymond Collection

• First Week Post Raid (May 2008)

Photographs created by Julie Berg-Raymond that show how the community is coping with the immediate aftermath of the raid with a particular focus on the volunteer work at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, as well as other landmarks in Postville that played a role in the raid.

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• First Year Anniversary Prayer Vigil and Solidarity Walk (May 2009)

Photographs created by Julie Berg-Raymond that document the prayer vigil and solidarity walk held at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Postville to commemorate the first year anniversary of the raid.

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• Interfaith Prayer Service and Rally (July 2008)

Photographs created by Julie Berg-Raymond that document an interfaith prayer service and rally in Postville that was organized by local church and synagogue leaders to bring awareness to the hundreds of people whose lives were still being affected by the raid.

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• Luther College Commemorative Art Installation (May 2009)

Photographs created by Julie Berg-Raymond that document the art installation created outside the Dahl Centennial Union at Luther College to commemorate the first year anniversary of the raid in Postville.

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Five Year Anniversary Collection

A collection of mixed media materials documenting the Five Year Anniversary of the Postville raid. The commemorative event took place on May 10, 2013, in Cedar Rapids and included a "Walk for Justice" from the Federal Courthouse to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, as well as an interfaith prayer service at the church.

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Georgie Klevar Collection

A collection of documents organized by Georgie Klevar, Decorah resident and former ESL teacher in Postville. These materials document various events related to diversity in Postville that took place before the immigration raid.

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Iowa Department of Labor Services Collection

A collection of materials obtained from the Iowa Department of Labor Services Commission containing materials related to a state investigation on the Agriprocessors, Inc. meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. Materials in this collection document the details of an investigation of child labor violations, workplace safety violations, as well as violations of Iowa wage laws. The collection also includes details on the penalities given to Agriprocessors based on the findings of the state's investigations.

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La Historia de Nuestras Vidas: The Story of our Lives

Created by seven members of the Teatro Indocumentado ensemble, "La Historia de Nuestras Vidas," tells about the personal experience of immigrating to the United States, working at the meatpacking plant and being detained in the Postville immigration raid. Comprised of six Guatemalans and one Mexican, the group chose to represent themselves in the presentation and helped one another tell their very important story. After connecting with local theater artists Kate Blair and Alex Skitolsky, the group began developing personal narratives in Spanish and transcribing the accounts into English. This text was used to guide the approach and structure for the play. The seven members of the ensemble initiated the directing and staging of the production, as they were the ones who had experiences the events themselves. The play was shown in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Chicago during 2009. The majority of the ensemble was deported towards the end of 2009.

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Liz Rog Collection

A collection of pamphlets, programs and posters, organized by Decorah community member Liz Rog, which detail post-raid community events.

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Postville Herald-Leader Newspaper Collection

| A collection of newspaper articles written and published by the local Postville Herald-Leader newspaper organization. The Herald-Leader was established in 1892 and provides news coverage for the community of Postville as well as news of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, and Winneshiek counties.

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Postville: Past, Present and Future Conference

Videos of sessions from a conference called Postville: Past, Present and Future, held at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on April 30 and May 1, 2009.

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Sister Mary McCauley Collection

A collection of presentations given by Sister Mary McCauley on her experience with the Postville raid.

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Taste of Postville Collection

A collection of mixed media sources organized by Nina Taylor that documents the Taste of Postville event that took place from 1998-2006 to celebrate the growing diversity of the Postville community.

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Sholom and Leah Rubashkin Court Testimonies

A collection of court testimonies from Sholom and Leah Rubashkin in the case of United States of America vs. Sholom Rubashkin. Testimony was taken before a jury on November 3 and 5, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

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