February 25, 2014


Antioch University Los Angeles’ Diversity Committee Hosts a Panel Discussion on the intersections of immigration and key topics associated to social justice

Culver City, CA – February 25, 2014 — Antioch University Los Angeles’ Diversity Committee will host a panel of activists, community leaders, and scholars to discuss “Immigration: from opportunity to exclusion?” The panel will focus on the intersections of immigration and key topics associated to social justice, such as education, social mobility, labor, and activism. Inspired by U.S. Black History legacy, panelists will gather to reflect on lessons of empowerment and resistance learned from the civil rights movement and how these may apply to the case of immigration. The discussion will take place on the Antioch University Los Angeles campus on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We are a nation of immigrants, built by immigrants, but as a nation we still struggle for immigrants to be accepted and given basic human rights,” says  by Luis G. Pedraja, PhD, Provost, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and Chair of the Diversity Committee.

The panel will examine the civil rights movement from an historical perspective, and ponder where immigration fits in as a 21st century civil rights issue. Examples of immigrant activism will include undocumented youth seeking higher education, youth immigrant workers involved in labor movements, artists standing up for immigrants dilemmas, and community leaders advocating for immigrant reform.

“We can learn from those who have struggled and continue to struggle for basic civil rights that it is our moral duty to seek justice for all,” added Pedraja.

Confirmed experts include Cheka Abubakari, The Ladera Education Institute; Juan Francisco Martinez, PhD, Vice Provost, Center for the Study of Hispanic Church and Community, Fuller Theological Seminary; Edna Monroy, California Immigrant Youth Alliance; Connie Choi, Esq., Asian Americans Advancing Justice; and Ernesto Yerena, Los Angeles based artist.

The panel will be facilitated by Dr. Pedraja, who is himself an expert on this topic. He was recently featured in almost 200 publications around the United States, providing insight and expertise on issues related to higher education and immigration reform and the Latino academic achievement gap.

“Those of us who are fortunate enough to have an education have a moral obligation to speak up on behalf of those who are unable to receive the benefits of higher education as a direct result of economic and social injustices,” says Pedraja. “Access to education is no longer a commodity, but a necessity for economic survival in the 21st century, both for the individual and for our nation.”

The evening is sponsored by AULA’s Diversity Committee. It is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served. The Antioch University Los Angeles campus is located at 400 Corporate Pointe, Culver City, 90230.

About Antioch University Los Angeles

Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA) provides a rigorous progressive education to prepare students for the complexities of today’s diverse societies. AULA, a not-for-profit institution and part of the Antioch University system, has served the greater Los Angeles area for 40 years. The core values of social justice, service to the community and lifelong learning lie at the heart of the BA degree completion program and master’s degree programs in Organizational Management, Education and Teacher Credentialing, Psychology, Creative Writing, and Urban Sustainability.

Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With campuses in Keene, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. www.AntiochLA.edu