The Immigration CRASsH group focuses on the local immigration (specifically Latinos) in Southern California integrating both scholarly research with personal and community experience. In an attempt to integrate the university with the community, we plan to work closely with community organizers and activists who work on immigration issues. Some of these community-based leaders participated in the conference that was held at Chapman University in the spring of 2012 on public sociology and immigration. This methodology is referred to as public sociology – scholars and citizens working collectively to address social problems. The immediate emphasis of our group is on segregation in the local Orange County school systems and its consequences for immigrants and the institutions themselves. The ultimate goal of the group is to both inform and make significant changes in existing attitudes, policies, and to encourage more inclusive practices of immigrants in Orange County’s educational systems. We believe this will be beneficial on both an individual and structural level.
The group will use the 1946 landmark case of Mendez vs. Westminster as a springboard issue. It will employ a historical narrative of segregation and on a more practical level will explore policies within the education system that attempt to remedy school segregation and the educational and social costs that accompany it. For example, we will look at Chapman’s outreach efforts in terms of Iluminación and its partnership with local groups such as Padres Unidos to solidify university/community partnerships. As a form of public sociology this serves as a source of mutual pedagogy and civic engagement.
This interdisciplinary group gathers scholars from the disciplines of Sociology, Religion, English, Math, Communications, Law, Languages, History, and Political Science. Participants include both graduate and undergraduate students.
Two students involved in the project have extensive experience in community organizing around issues important to the Latino community. Another student has interest in local community activism.