AUGUSTA — A lunch & learn event featuring author and coordinator of Multicultural Student Affairs at USM, Reza Jalali, is set for noon Friday, March 4, at the Michael Klahr Center, 46 University Drive, University of Maine at Augusta.

Immigration to Maine has been part of the American narrative for the past few centuries. America, as a nation of immigrants, has historically, with a few exceptions, welcomed the world’s persecuted by offering them safety and a chance to start a new life. Maine’s recent immigrants, most of them refugees fleeing wars, religious and political persecution, arrive from war-torn countries such as Somalia, Sudan, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Rwanda, to name a few.

Jalali author of “New Mainers: Portraits of Our Immigrant Neighbors,” will discuss his book and the need to tell the stories of today’s immigrants. The book shares unique stories of 29 immigrants and refugees, unfamiliar to the state.

This program is presented by the HHRC in conjunction with its current exhibit “Yearning to Breathe Free: The Immigrant Experience in Maine” in partnership with the Mid-Maine Global Forum.

Lunch will cost $10 per person; seating is limited. RSVP to HHRC office administrator Jordan Bannister via email at [email protected] or call 621-3530 by Tuesday, March 1. Payment can be made the day of the event by check, credit card or cash at the door.

The mid-Maine Global Forum contributes to the local community’s understanding of issues of global significance by organizing and disseminating informed public presentations and discussion. For more information, visit midmaineglobalforum.wordpress.com.

The Michael Klahr Center is open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday, or by appointment. There is no admission fee and the Center features permanent and rotating exhibition.

For more information, call 21-3530 or visit hhrcmaine.org.