Thursday, May 7, 2015
Today was the first of a two day University of California National Summit on Undocumented Students in Oakland, California. The unprecedented UC event was organized by the UC President's Advisory Council on Undocumented Students.. The conference participants will discuss immigration legal services and support, civic engagement and community involvement, financial aid and support services, and career and professional development.
UC President Janet Napolitano welcomed students, faculty, and administrators from all the UC campuses as well as activists, attorneys, and political leaders.
Maria Blanco, Executive Director of the UC Undocumented Students Legal Services Center, is a participant in the conference and will no doubt spread the word to students, faculty, administrators, and others about the services provided by this new center.
The student activists at this Summit add a palpable sense of energy and urgency in exhorting us to find solutions to a pressing set of national public policy issues.
UPDATE (May 8): News reports suggest that the students were disruptive during President Napolitano's welcome remarks. I was present during this part of the day. The students did have an organized presentation during her remarks and then left the room. President Napolitano allowed the students to speak. I thought that the students' remarks were thoughtful and generally respectful. The news reports suggesting more disruption may well have generated the negativity seen in the on-line comments to the reports.