Alfred University News

Alfred University alum, journalist Levi Bridges to speak at Bergren

Levi Bridges, developing the art of the interview in Mexico
Levi Bridges, developing the art of the interview in Mexico

Since Levi Bridges’ graduation from Alfred in 2007, he has picked apples with immigrant Mexican workers in upstate New York, worked with Mexican immigrants in a traveling carnival in California, and bicycled across Russia, from Vladivostok to the Ukraine.


Since Levi Bridges’ graduation from Alfred in 2007, he has picked apples with immigrant Mexican workers in upstate New York, worked with Mexican immigrants in a traveling carnival in California, and bicycled across Russia, from Vladivostok to the Ukraine.

He has volunteered in migrant shelters in Mexico, interviewed migrant workers and shared their stories on radio broadcasts and podcasts. He has recorded hours of interviews with refugees caught in the immigration mill in southern Mexico.

But he has never led a Bergren Forum at Alfred University.

That will change on March 18, when Bridges presents La Vida Es Un Carnaval: Travels With America's New Low-Wage Workforce, beginning at noon. The online presentation will be available to the Alfred University community.

Bridges writers: “Every year, thousands of workers depart from a small town in southern Mexico called Tlapacoyan to work at traveling carnivals and circuses all around the United States. If you've been to a county fair anywhere from California to the Carolinas, the carnival worker operating the Tilt-a-Whirl or the Ferris wheel likely came from Tlapacoyan.  These workers arrive in the United States as part of the H-2 visa program that brings foreign workers to labor in low-skilled U.S. jobs. But the workers often fall victim to forms of exploitation ranging from wage theft to human trafficking.”

As a journalist, Bridges spent a year researching the experiences of Mexican carnival workers, first in Mexico on a Fulbright fellowship and then in the United States, where he worked at a carnival himself. His journalism has appeared in The Washington Post and the Associated Press, on National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

An email will be sent to AU faculty, students and staff on the Monday and Thursday of the week of a Bergren forum with contact information for accessing the Zoom event. Others may secured the Zoom connection by emailing: saxtonmj@alfred.edu.