Establishing safe spaces for difficult conversations about immigration

About the Project

“The Farmingville Campaign created ‘safety zones’ where people could speak honestly about what is and isn’t working as we try to integrate immigrants into civic life today.” — Daranee Petsod, Executive Director, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

The brutal, hate-based beating of two Mexican day laborers catapulted the Long Island suburb of Farmingville into national headlines. Farmingville, directed by Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini, brings this combustible situation to the screen with an extraordinarily balanced look at the stories and opinions of the town leaders, longtime residents, day laborers, and activists. Along the way, the film exposes laws and infrastructure that are out of sync with our increasingly globalized economy, and spotlights one community’s polarized responses to our changing demographics. As tensions increased in new “gateway” communities and suburbs, Active Voice used this cautionary tale of a town in crisis to encourage policymakers, immigration advocates, and communities to work together to create positive solutions.

Our Work

  • VIP screening at the Brookings Institution for elected officials, policy analysts, and day laborers
  • Guided bridge-building dialogues in communities with large day laborer populations
  • Discussion materials highlighting successful models of cross-sector problem-solving
  • Cultivation events to encourage funders and individual donors to support community problem-solving efforts

Key Partners

  • Brookings Institution
  • Catholic Legal Immigration Network
  • National Conference of State Legislatures
  • National Immigration Forum
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Georgetown University Institute for the Study of International Migration
  • Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
  • National Immigration Law Center

Film Trailer

Filmmaker Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini



  • Farmingville Discussion Guide

    The Discussion Guide helps facilitators guide productive dialogue. Download the guide here.

  • Farmingville Resource Guide

    Created in collaboration with Georgetown University’s Center for the Study of International Migration, this Resource Guide is designed for policymakers and community leaders who want practical ideas for building bridges between day laborers and the communities where they work. Download the guide here.