Paw'd Defiance

Community Builders

April 27, 2019 Season 1 Episode 6
Paw'd Defiance
Community Builders
Chapters
Paw'd Defiance
Community Builders
Apr 27, 2019 Season 1 Episode 6
UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Sarah Hampson and UW Tacoma student Karla Michelle Vargas
An immigration conference organized by UW Tacoma students aims to help members of the community by connecting them to resources.
Show Notes Transcript

During the past year a group of UW Tacoma students have worked to organize an immigration conference on campus. The result is "Our Tacoma Story: Education, Advocacy and Building Communities". Among other things, the two day event will feature a legal clinic where participants can speak with an immigration attorney. There will also be a panel featuring Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez and Senator Claire Wilson.  During this episode UW Tacoma student Karla Michelle Vargas will talk about her personal reasons for wanting to host this conference and what she hopes the community will take from it. Assistant Professor Sarah Hampson offers insight into the budding law community on campus.

En español:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/265902/1060277-constructores-de-la-comunidad



Speaker 1:
0:01
I want people to be more aware and more educated on this issue because it's such an important issue. And it literally, it's what makes America, you know, like having immigrants willing to work for a country that's not theirs, but willing to put in the work for it
Speaker 2:
0:22
from U. Dot. Tacoma. This is part defiance.
Speaker 3:
0:30
Welcome
Speaker 2:
0:31
dupont defiance square. We don't lecture but we do educate. I'm your host Maria Sauce demoed today, our Tacoma story with Udab Tacoma System professors, Sarah Hanson. He you'd have to coma senior Carla Michelle Vargas Vargas in a group of youth of t students from the pre law society have organized a two day immigration conference, that inclusive free legal clinic and a panel discussion with State Supreme Court Justice Stephen Gonzalez as senator Claire Wilson. We'll talk about why students decided to host the event and what they hope to achieve
Speaker 4:
1:05
so high to have assistant professor Sarah Hanson and Carlo Vargas. Can you briefly introduce yourselves? We can start with Sarah. Sure. Hi, I'm Sarah Hampson. Um, I'm an assistant professor. I teach in the law and policy major. And I'm also a the Co interim director of the new legal pathways initiative at Udab T. Hi,
Speaker 1:
1:24
my name is Carlo Vargas. I'm the vice president for the pre law society. I am a Udab student. Uh, I'm currently majoring in law and policy. Carla, can you tell us more about our Tacoma? Sorry. So, um, our Tacoma story is about, um, educating the public as well as helping the communities. So we'll be having a free legal clinic for our community members as well as, um, uh, panels on educating and research on, um, immigration. And we meant to mid, sorry, myth and reality around it. Thank you. Um, how did you decide to come up with this event? Um, so a little background story. Um, so I come from a mixed status family. Um, my family, some of us are US citizens, some of us are on document or some of us are Daca. And recently we faced a lot of, um, some, um, encounters with immigration where, um, our family has been affected.
Speaker 1:
2:28
Um, so we came up with this because since I faced these obstacles, I wanted to be able to provide, you know, some kind of way to help that community that doesn't have the resources that I've been able to come up with. Like Sarah Who's helped me a lot, um, overcome some obstacles and I just pitched this idea to a pre law society and they were all for it. They were so excited, they were so willing to be allies there were so ready, get this work done. They knew that, you know, having a status of being a u s citizen, it was really helpful and really impactful to get this movement started. And that's how it all started. So I'm assuming that, um, it's been very hard for you. Um, can you describe more about why this is very important to you? This is really important to me.
Speaker 1:
3:20
For me to educate the community who has the power to do something like a US citizen, you know, but doesn't know how to get it going as well as educate the community on what kind of pathways they have or you know, knowing that they have an attorney there to talk to them about their situation and kind of give them like a turn it is or waste for them to protect themselves in case immigration were to knock on their door. Um, it's just really important to me because all this, you know, the community doesn't know about these resources and know about these, um, uh, nonprofit organizations who are willing to do the work for them. Um, so it's really important for me and the pre law society that they are educated as well as they are knowledgeable of what's out there for them and what kind of resources can help them. Um, I want to go back to, I'm Sarah, can you describe the role of the students have played in this event? Oh, they've been amazing. So, um,
Speaker 4:
4:16
so I think we, you rightly identified the vision for the conference really came from Carla and her experiences. But, um, we have a lot of students and pre law society that really took the ball and ran with it, um, and have really done a lot to organize this conference and to make it happen. Um, I'll just back up what Kylah said that the tagline of the conferences, education, advocacy and building communities, it sort of has a few different reasons for being, um, that again kind of came out of Carla's vision and one of those reasons for being as education education of, um, communities, uh, that, uh, need, maybe need help with immigration or need to know kind of what pathways and rights that they have, but education of our campus and wider community, um, around these issues. Like what are people facing that are like Carlisle or maybe not like Carla.
Speaker 4:
5:11
So one of the things that, um, we're also trying to bring out with this is, you know, um, what, who are immigrants and who has this experience and how varied is that experience? Um, and, and so that's kind of one of the things that we're trying to do with that too. And then just building communities, really trying to bring out, um, allyship and, and, and bring out, um, uh, a large group of people at Udab t that are there to support and, um, really, uh, stand behind our immigrant students and our students who are undocumented.
Speaker 1:
5:51
Is this the first time this, this event is going to be, you know, held? Yes. And we, and we really hope that we, with this conference is the university can, um, build ilet ship with these organizations that are coming and decided to join on. So this can be held annually, um, especially as how our university is becoming more and more diverse. And we seen a population of a lot of, um, uh, dreamers who are Daca or undocumented or refugees. And that's what makes u. Dot. Tacoma unique is that we have so much diverse. And that's the one thing we also want to highlight in this conference is that, you know, in this conference we want to show that it's not just the, the news media likes to portray undocumented migrants as only latinex communities, but it's not, you know, a lot of youtube Tacoma students are in our Latinex, but either them or themselves or their families have gone through the migration process and it's been really hard for them to become documented or the obstacles they face to come to the u s how long have you been working on this project? For? Almost about a year. Around the mistaken. Wow. Yes. We started and we, I pitched the idea back in June and so we headed up, we hit it from there and Sarah, honestly, it could have been done without her. She's done so much work and is, she's put us together. Uh, no. So the work
Speaker 4:
7:24
that was done and has been done and continues to be done by the students, um, particular props to the students and the art student officers in the pre law society, um, is what six of you? Seven of you that have just been amazing. I mean we're talking, these students have been contacting legislators, these students have been speaking, you know, with our chancellor. Um, these students have been organizing a huge array of community organizations and community members to come to this thing and to be part of this thing, they've got a legal team to come out and give a legal clinic on day one. So, um, they're, they've been doing an amazing amount of work. Um, I've come in and done a little bit of background organizing in the last month and a half or so just to kind of bring the pieces together. But they've really done the bulk of this work and particularly the visionary bulk of this work, um, is definitely this thing is student Org, uh, organized student run. I will say to you a couple of other little shout outs. Um, uh, so they've also organized, they've got a lot of other students on campus from other RSOS and from across the campus as well as from pre law society to come and volunteer and be part of this. So I'm officially cosponsors our Muslim student association and First Gen First Gen fellows. Um, but a lot of other students are working on this too. So this is centrally student run student organized conference. Carla, can you give us, they tell us about the event. Yeah,
Speaker 1:
8:56
so I love event is called our Tacoma story. It's education, advocacy and building communities. The hashtag we'll be using is our Tacoma story. This event will be taking place at the William Philip Hall and there'll be a keystone oratorium as well. The date is May 2nd and third, which will be next Thursday and Friday. On the first day we'll be starting at nine o'clock and from nine to one we'll be having a legal clinic that is open to the campus and the community. And then from 1230 to one 30 we'll have a film screening in key one o two from one of our professors, Dr Sonia de la Cruz and her topic of the film is called said happiness. Cynthia's transborder journey as well as three 30 to four 30. We'll be having another film screening and key one o two and that will be from coming from one of our students along Tran, which is called subtle Asian woman.
Speaker 1:
9:58
And then it will be followed by on Friday. The next day we from nine to roughly around six 30. Um, we'll be having the welcome from the chancellor as well as doctor Jennica Miller. She'll be discussing and opening it up since we are in tribal land. Um, we'll have student introduction as well as a language discussion. From 10 to 11. We'll be having justice Gonzales and senator Claire Wilson as well as other senators and representatives from the Washington state having a panel discussion about what is being done here in the Capitol to help the migrate community and what is being done. Now I'm from 1115 to 1215 we'll be having the myths and realities about migration and we'll be having attorneys, Amanda Banner and let these Ia Hernandez as well as a student from u dub t Andre Woods. Um, and then we'll be having a student panel. We'll, we'll be talking about the immigrant experience of you'd have to coma students.
Speaker 1:
11:04
Uh, two 45 to three. We'll be having a faculty research panels speaking on, uh, the research they've done from the northwest detention center here in our backyard. And that will be from doctor or CIOCCA macho doctor, the beverage, Woodside and Doctor Rachel Hertzberg. And then we'll be having a student debate. We'll, we'll be talking about what it is to have a sanctuary city and around and the current issues. Um, and that is brought by a work current and new, a student debate club that just started here on campus. So that's really exciting for us. And then we'll be having a keynote speaker, Professor Ian Hayden Lopez and yeah, that would be around down on our two day
Speaker 4:
11:55
conference that has been in the works. Great. So, um, just a couple of things I want to jump in there. First of all, both days of the conference are free open to the public. Um, we particularly encourage community members to come today. One which is an information fair and a free legal clinic, but everyone is as welcome. Also, you can find out more on our website. So we have a webpage that you can find through the legal pathways website, youtube, t legal pathways, and a under our Tacoma story. Oh, I'm sorry. Can you talk about the legal pathways initiative? Sure. So legal pathways is cosponsoring this event. Um, and uh, it's, it's a new initiative here at Udab t where we're looking to support students who are interested in law related careers in law related topics, um, in their work. So this is to us a really good, a really good kind of use of our support, um, but also looking for ways to bring the campus and the communities together around law related questions and discussion.
Speaker 4:
12:59
Um, and again, this to me is, is really central to that mission. Um, we have, uh, we're in the process of hiring a brand new director for the program. Um, so that announcement will be coming out very soon. So keep your eyes peeled for that. I'm really excited about who we're hiring. Um, yeah. So, um, so we have a lot of initiatives on campus, a lot of programming, but to me this is the kind of work that we really want to be doing, which is giving students opportunities to explore and bring their own, um, questions around law and policy, um, to the campus and particularly connecting with communities around this. So these students have been really kind of doing this on their own. We just want to support that. Um, you know, they've, they've been making connections with local lawyers, with local community organizations, um, to make this happen.
Speaker 4:
13:53
So we just want to support it. So, Carla, we'll have you learned from this experience. Oh my God. It takes a team like honestly, like this could have never happened without the pre law society and the officers and them willing to jump in and do this and do that and work on, you know, getting the community members, getting, working on, getting, confirming the attorneys. They've done a lot of work and I feel like this could have never been done without their support and their help. Um, I also learned the, um, you know, it takes a village to really like, um, Get the vision forward kind of situation. I also learned that people are willing to put in the work. You just have to help be able to, um, I don't know how to put in words, but they're willing to do the work. Um, they just need a little bit guidance and, um, a little bit of like, uh,
Speaker 1:
14:52
education for them to know like maybe how to approach a certain community member, how to approach a certain student that, um, has, has been through the migrant experience. Um, because some of them do not know the proper ways or the right ways to maybe approach them meant to be sensitive about, if that makes sense. Sorry. Is there anything that you have learned from this event? Oh,
Speaker 4:
15:20
goodness. Um, it's really hard to put together a conference on this scale. Um, and it's particularly hard for students to put together a conference on this scale on their own. And so the campus community, when there is a vision like this and you have a group of students that really want to work, um, people like myself, faculty, administrators, staff, we need to step up and support that. Um, and um, yeah, I guess that that's, I mean, there's so many things I've learned. It's hard to, it's hard to nutshell it, but I would say that, you know, um, you know, we as faculty and administrators like wheat, we have a lot more power to make certain things happen quicker. And we know what we're doing at Brown, some of the, you know, navigating campus structures and community structures and we just need to enable the students, right, to do these kinds of big things because they're so capable of doing that. Um, with just a tiny bit of hope. Like, you know, who do you go to to book a room and, you know, um, yeah, those small details, small details. Yeah. Um, that's probably all I want to say.
Speaker 1:
16:31
So what do you hope to the community takes it from this event? I hope too that they'll take away resources as well as, um, opportunities to, um, you know, maybe obtain an attorney at a low cost because attorneys for immigration can be as lid, as, as little, as $200 for a consultation. Um, I want to build relationship with the university and these communities so this can continue annually as well as I want people to be more aware and more educated on this issue because it's such an important issue and it literally, um, it w it's what makes America, you know, like having, having immigrants work, willing to work for a country that's not theirs, but willing to put in the work for it. Sarah, is there anything,
Speaker 4:
17:26
yeah, I would, I agree. I would like to see a stronger connection between edup tea and some of these organizations that we've built this year. I'd like to see that go ongoing. Um, I'm hoping that legal pathways can help a little bit with that kind of continuity, um, because a lot of our wonderful organizers this year graduating. Um, so I'm, I'm hoping that, you know, the institutional memory, um, will be there through that program. Yeah, I think,
Speaker 2:
17:50
I think I just want to support what, what the students want to get out of this. Thank you to our guests and a big thing. Get to our senior lecturer, Nicole Blair for letting us play your music on the show. Thank you to moon y'all recording studio and thank you for joining us today. Be sure to subscribe and go to iTunes, Spotify, Google podcast, stitcher, and pocket
Speaker 3:
18:17
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