105: Coffee with Ellin Jimmerson

As an expert on immigration, Dr. Ellin Jimmerson’s conversation was a fun, meaningful, and timely. Jimmerson’s movie, The Second Cooler, narrated by Martin Sheen, was released in 2013. It has won many awards and been screened at many universities, fund raisers, theaters, and other venues across the US. While we were conducting our interview rallies, marches and protests were happening all across the United States and the world in response to Donald Trump’s two-day old executive order banning Muslims and refugees.

The Second Cooler is a documentary about illegal migration shot primarily in Alabama, Arizona, and Mexico. The premise is that Arizona is the new Alabama—the epicenter of an intense struggle for migrant justice. The documentary brings basic migration issues into focus. Those issues include the impact of free trade agreements on migration, the lack of a legal way for poor Latin Americans to come to the United States, the inherent abuses of the guest worker program, the fact that many migrants are indigenous people, anti-immigrant politics in Alabama, the thousands of migrant deaths at the border, and an escalating ideology of the border.

Ellin Jimmerson has a Masters in Southern History from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, a Ph. D. in 20th Century United States History from the University of Houston, Texas, and a Masters in Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School with a concentration in Latin American liberation theology. She is an ordained Baptist minister.

Ellin points out in the interview that the current executive order did not come out of nowhere just because of Donald Trump. President Obama had earned the moniker Deporter-in-Chief for deporting three million people and the problems certainly predated President Obama.

Ellin is the author of numerous articles, essays, and speeches. She writes for publication on various areas of history and religion. She has been interviewed on public, religious, and other radio stations and in podcasts around the US on the subject of immigration.

Ellin cautions us of the phrase comprehensive immigration reform “because it means anything anyone wants it to mean.” She assures us it will keep coming up. She has great recommendations about some of the most important and urgent things we can do. My first suggestion is this, watch the Second Cooler. You can download it right now (or order it).

Morgue refrigerator

Jimmerson’s academic speciality is the intersection of US history, Latin American history, and Christianity. She has spoken to academic and non-academic audiences on liberation theology in the United States and Mexico.

An ordained Baptist minister, she was Minister to the Community at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, USA from 2008-2015. Because her parents were Civil Rights Movement activists during the 1950s and 1960s in Albany, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama, she cut her teeth on social justice issues.

You can find out more about Ellin Jimmerson and The Second Cooler at thesecondcooler.com or

LinkedIn: Ellin Jimmerson
Facebook: Ellin Jimmerson
Facebook: The Second Cooler Fan Page
Twitter: @EllinJimmerson


The Second Cooler

Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas

United Church of Christ (UCC)

United Faith Leaders

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962 Movie)

To Kill a Mockingbird (1960 Book)