Kelsey Freeman ’12 Tackles Tough Immigration Issues in First Book
Kelsey Freeman’s first work of nonfiction, No Option But North: The Migrant World and the Perilous Path Across the Border, has gleaned several awards since being released in April 2020. In June, Colorado Humanities awarded her book 2021 Colorado Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and Literary Arts selected it as a finalist for the Oregon Book Award earlier this year.
The book is based on her experiences as a Fulbright research fellow living for nine months in Celaya, Mexico. While teaching at a university, she frequented a local migrant shelter to interview people about their reasons for leaving home and experiences along the way. The book recounts many of these stories of the arduous trials migrants face even before they reach the US-Mexico border.
As a writer and educator, Kelsey is passionate about Indigenous rights, immigration policy, social justice, and public policy. She currently runs a college-readiness program for Native American high school students through Central Oregon Community College.