Friday, May 12, 2006

Crossing the Line: A Forum on Immigration

one of the most important jobs of academics is to bring a little context to important and complex topics - and to bring this context to our students, our colleagues, and our communities. with that in mind, UW's department of ethnic studies is offering Crossing the Line: A Forum on Immigration.

When: Friday, May 19, 5:30-9:00 and Saturday, May 20, 9:30am—12:00
Where: Parrington Commons, 120 Kane Hall, and the HUB.
Sponsor: UW's Department of American Ethnic Studies
Co-Sponsors: Office of Minority Affairs, Diversity Research Institute, and Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP)
Props to: Erica Lomelí, Mari Matsumoto, the Ethnic Cultural Center & Theatre, and MEChA
this event is exciting to me for a number of reasons. first, it is clear that immigration has become a key issue in america - a key issue for human rights, a key issue for contemporary social movements, a key issue for fear mongering, and a key issue for the 2006 election. for those reasons, let's educate ourselves and others.

second, the two keynote speakers are impressive. thomas sáenz is, among many other things, lead counsel to the mayor of los angeles and francisco estrada is, also among many other things, the director of public policy for MALDEF (mexican american legal defense and educational fund).

third, saturday's roundtable discussions, "Law, Labor and Advocacy" and "Immigrant Communities: Myths & Realities," look really interesting. i especially like how the participants are primarily from community organizations (NWIRP, Comité Pro-Amnistía General, Hate Free Zone, From Hate to Hope, Seattle Public Schools, and Sea Mar) while the moderators are UW faculty. too often, academics talk to rather than listen to the community.


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