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Highlands College Displays Second Smithsonian Poster Exhibit


Highlands College of Montana Tech has installed a second poster exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution in its Tech Gallery South exhibition space. The new exhibit is entitled “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964”.

The Bracero program (1942 through 1964) allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in the United States. Over the program’s 22-year life, more than 4.5 million Mexican nationals were legally contracted for work in the United States (some individuals returned several times on different contracts). Mexican peasants, desperate for cash work, were willing to take jobs at wages scorned by most Americans. The Braceros’ presence had a significant effect on the business of farming and the culture of the United States.

Bittersweet Harvest is a moving bilingual poster exhibit organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibit examines the experiences of bracero workers and their families, providing rich insight into Mexican American history and historical background to today’s debates on guest worker programs. The overarching purpose of the exhibit is to encourage dialogue, engagement, respect and participation and thereby create positive social change.

“I am grateful for the significant assistance of our Highlands College faculty member, Gretchen Geller, RN, who is the primary reason why the exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution have come our way,” said Dr. John M. Garic, Dean of Highlands College. “I strongly agree with Gretchen that it is really important to encourage and inspire our students to become engaged and to participate in the promotion of positive social change.”

For any further information about this issue or any issue pertaining to Montana Tech or Highlands College, please contact Amanda Badovinac at 406-496-4828 or Dr. John M. Garic at 406-496-3714.