News Local/State

Immigration Activism Focus Of Upcoming Symposium In Champaign


A symposium at the University YMCA in Champaign aims to equip people with tools to better support immigrants in the community.

The Inaugural Symposium on Local Immigration Activism on Feb. 28, 2019, will feature discussions about sanctuary communities and the unique challenges undocumented students face in higher education.

Other breakout sessions will focus on how to support immigrant families in federal court and participate in immigrant-centered advocacy.

Gloria Yen leads the University YMCA’s New American Welcome Center, one of more than a dozen organizations behind the event.

Yen said the event is intended for anyone “who is interested in advancing immigrant welfare in our community."

"So whether you’re currently very involved or you just want to learn more, this is a great space for you to do that,” she said.

Yen said she hopes participants will be better equipped to work together to support immigrants in the community.

The symposium will focus on “activism in different contexts, advocacy in different contexts, and just equipping people in the community for an opportunity to network, to build connections with each other and to be equipped to move on things that they’re excited about,” Yen said.

Keynote speakers include Illinois State University professor Lisa Ortiz, who studies portrayals of Puerto Rican migration in the media, and U of I PhD candidate Susan Ogwal, who studies the intersection of immigration and higher education.

Advance registration is required for the free full-day symposium, and space is limited.

Find more information at the website for the symposium.

Follow Christine Herman on Twitter: @CTHerman