During his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump promised to build a “big, beautiful wall.” What would it actually take to build a barrier along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, and what would it mean for our border security? Can a wall be built? Should it be built? At what cost? Will it work? Those are some of the questions a group of journalists set out to answer.

Feb. 22 Documenting The WallAt 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, we'll get a firsthand look at the Pulitzer Prize-winning project, by "The Arizona Republic" and USA Today Network, when  Dennis Wagner, a senior reporter with both organizations, comes to PebbleCreek. He will share how the project came into being and what it found.

In 2017, Warren and another journalist flew the entire border from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean by helicopters. The team of 30 journalists interviewed victims of border violence, ranchers, smugglers, Border Patrol agents, immigrants, environmentalists, engineers and scores of others. Through videos, graphics, maps and photos, Wagner will explain border-wall issues, as perceived during this 10-day helicopter flight from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.  

The Pulitzer committee lauded the project for "vivid and timely reporting that masterfully combined text, video, podcasts and virtual reality to examine, from multiple perspectives, the difficulties and unintended consequences of fulfilling President Trump's pledge to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico."

"The Wall” was turned into a documentary that has been shown several times to sold-out audiences, including in July 2018 at the Scottsdale Harkins Theater. While not available online, several videos are available on the AZ Republic website.

Wagner, 65, has been in the news business for 42 years. His reporting on the Department of Veterans Affairs crisis in Phoenix and nationwide was honored with the George Polk Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Farfel Prize, and a first-place award from Investigative Reporters & Editors. He has been named Arizona journalist-of-the-year multiple times by the Arizona Newspaper Association.

In preparation for this lecture, be sure to attend LifeLong Learning's Oct. 29 Monday Morning Lecture presented by a representative of the Border Patrol.

Tickets to all Premier Lectures are $15 per person and may be purchased as of Oct. 1 online, before any Monday Morning Lecture, or at the LLL Center during office hours.

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