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Orange is the New Black star to give talk at UNC Sunday

CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, the original version of this story misrepresented the location of tickets for the lecture. Tickets will be available the day of the lecture in the box office of the Great Hall. The story has been updated to reflect these changes.

Update, 7:25 p.m. Friday: In her speech, Guerrero will also focus on "her personal experience of being Latina in the acting industry and how that has influenced her personal career and growth," according to event organizers.

Before she was a Netflix star, Diane Guerrero was a 14-year-old girl living in the U.S. without her parents.

Guerrero, known for her role as Maritza on Orange is the New Black, will be giving a speech in the Great Hall of the Carolina Union at 2 p.m. Sunday about immigration rights and about her experiences as a Latina actor and the effects that has had on her career and personal growth.

Guerrero was left behind when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported her family, said Alma Islas, a senior and member of the "One State, One Rate" campaign, which advocates for in-state tuition for undocumented students.

“She relied on the kindness of her neighbors and her family friends, and they basically raised her," Islas said. "And nobody, the authorities, never came to see, ‘Hey, there’s a child here. Let’s see if we can put her in foster care or what have you not?’”

After the lecture, there will be a Q&A with Guerrero. Guerrero was originally scheduled to speak in fall 2015, but the event was rescheduled due to weather.

“She’s a really strong person, and I think that’s someone that we need to represent or talk about the issues that are occurring today,” said Vidal Morales, co-chairperson of Students United for Immigrant Equality.

Guerrero has been vocal on undocumented immigrant and LGBT rights in the past, said junior Boateng Kubi, vice president of outreach for the Carolina Union Activities Board.

The event was planned by a committee with representatives from the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative, CUAB and Students United for Immigration Equality.

CUAB diversity co-chairperson Ami Patel said $14,000 has been spent on the event so far. 

“We don’t have exact numbers yet … We have paid the agency $14,000 for their services and for her to come and speak, and that includes her travel fare and also her hotel fare as well," she said. "And then in addition to that, any operation costs such as the Great Hall running and the box office selling our tickets have gone into that."

Patel said she expects Guerrero to talk about the book she is currently writing and her childhood.

Islas said she thinks Guerrero is helping to humanize undocumented immigrants.

“I think that her coming to have a talk here is definitely very beneficial to help humanize the issue and let people know that undocumented individuals are productive citizens of our community and are contributing, not just economically, but you know, they’re contributing with their culture and a lot more other things," Islas said.

Diana Regalado, director of education and culture for the Latina/o Collaborative, said students will benefit from hearing from someone who has experienced the current immigration policies.

“It shines light on very important issues that maybe people think pertain to one community, but in reality, it’s really all about us," she said.

Tickets cost $5 and are available for pick up the day of the lecture in the box office of the Great Hall.

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