WATE 6 On Your Side

HOLA Lakeway’s ‘Morristown Voices’ project to premiere at Walters State Community College

"Morristown Voices" will premiere Monday, May 1 at Walters State Community College. (Photo: HOLA Lakeway)

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — A research project-turned-documentary film to share the experiences of the greater Morristown area will be shown to the community on May 1, according to HOLA Lakeway.

“Morristown Voices” will premiere Monday at 6 p.m. in the Walters State Community College Foundation Room. HOLA Lakeway, a nonprofit that aids and educates the immigrant community in the greater Hamblen County and Lakeway area northeast of Knoxville, says the public is invited to attend the film premiere.

“I’m excited to see what kind of conversations and ideas will come from it,” Betsy Hurst, HOLA Lakeway’s executive director said in an email statement to WATE 6 On Your Side. “It’s always great to see our community come together like this. Our young people worked so hard on this project!”

The film will feature the work and collaboration of experiences of students, community members and neighbors who met on a weekly basis to study what they’ve shared – including issues of prejudice.

The documentary will show the work of students who studied “how the greater Morristown region experiences racism and challenges (with) prejudice,” for 12 weeks to create the film, according to HOLA Lakeway.

“I am always supportive of events that bring communities together and encourage open communication,” Willie Santana, cofounder of HOLA Lakeway, said. “I hope that ‘Morristown Voices’ provides an opportunity for individuals to express themselves and share their diverse perspectives in a constructive and respectful manner. 

“The beautiful thing about this country is not that we have fully realized our founding values, but that we continuously, even if sometimes too slowly, strive to do so. These young people’s project is part of that rich American tradition. I’m looking forward to seeing their final product.”

Students gathered stories and images from people with ties to Morristown during their 12-week study.

Data from the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau indicates that Tennessee’s total Hispanic and Latino population is around 6.9%. In some East Tennessee counties, U.S. Census data shows there are caches of Hispanic and Latino populations contributing to their local economies:

HOLA Lakeway says the county mayor and Dr. Miksa, Walters State Community College’s president, have confirmed their attendance for the event. Attendees are asked to park in front of the College Center.

Walters State Community College is located at 500 South Davy Crockett Parkway Morristown, TN 37813.