A panel of experts on law, human rights and race relations will discuss black and Latina/o and migrant rights at California State University, Northridge on Monday, March 11.
The presentation, “Black and Latina/o Migrant Relations: Immigrant Rights are Civil Rights,” will take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the University Student Union’s Thousand Oaks Room.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Chicana/o Studies, the Distinguished Visiting Speakers Program, the College of Humanities, the Civil Discourse and Social Change initiative, and McNair Scholars, the symposium will center on disrupting the dominant understanding of Latinos displacing blacks from the labor market and competing for public resources.
“The current debate over immigration is not engaging a discussion of structural issues that shape migration patterns,” said Martha Escobar, CSUN Chicana/o studies professor and event organizer. “The conversation that will take place at the event addresses the U.S. historical and contemporary dependence on nonwhite foreign bodies that provide labor and generate wealth for the nation, an aspect that needs to be centered in any conversation over immigration.”
“This event brings together communities that in the debate over immigration are placed in competition with each other,” Escobar said.
The symposium will feature three guest speakers who will focus the attention on key ways that race is used to structure the U.S. labor market and draw connections from slavery and Jim Crow to the contemporary moment. Anthony Ratcliff, Department of Pan African Studies professor, will serve as the discussant to the guest speakers.
The panelists include Rhonda V. Magee, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, who will provide an understanding of slavery as a form of forced immigration that was central to creating an economy dependent on foreign non-white bodies introduced into the nation for exploitation; Gerald Lenoir, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, an education and advocacy group comprised of African-Americans and black immigrants from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean; and Isabel G. Garcia, the director of the Pima County Legal Defender’s Office and co-chair of Derechos Humanos, a human rights organization based in Tucson, Ariz. Garcia will address recent anti-immigration issues, legislation in Arizona and some recent efforts to change immigration policies.