President's Forum on Immigration and Inclusion

Wednesday, April 19, 6-8:00 pm Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theater 5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110

What does it mean to be welcoming and inclusive?  How can we define these values through positive actions and obligations, not just the absence of discrimination or hatred?  What role should universities play in defending the rights of our students, staff, and the communities that surround us?  How can we provide the “protection and accompaniment” called for by Bishop McElroy without alienating more conservative members of our community or aggravating the decline of civil public discourse?  These questions amount to a once-in-a-generation challenge.


Since the November election, the University of San Diego community has come together like never before to reaffirm and apply our values to meet this challenge.  Our president enthusiastically adopted the recommendations of an interdisciplinary task force on immigration and inclusion, and he has been an outspoken leader at the national level on the unique role of Catholic universities in welcoming immigrants and refugees, and preserving humanistic values.  


On campus, we have explored issues of racism, immigration, and human rights in a diverse array of public forums and community meetings, vigils and marches, information sessions and presentations by faculty experts, and visual and spoken word performances.


In the broader community, our legal clinics and institutes have dramatically expanded their services and played a leading role in providing local and national media with timely and accurate information. Our community service programs have redoubled their collaborations with local partners, and made our campus a hub for developing creative and humane solutions.  Most important, our students have opened their hearts and minds    


Please join us for a set of presentations designed to showcase these efforts both on and off campus, followed by an open public forum, where a lively discussion will help to set the course for the next stage in our ongoing efforts.    



6:00 pm

James T. Harris, USD President



Ev Meade, USD Trans-Border Institute



Seven speakers will each have seven minutes.  They will each answer three common questions, and present three slides.



6:15-7:15 pm


  • Greg Prieto, USD Sociology,

Understanding, serving, and protecting our undocumented students

  • Itzel Guillén, Alliance San Diego,

What we have learned in know-your-rights presentations on and off campus

  • Huy Nguyen, Boys and Girls Club of Linda Vista,

Fear and uncertainty in our local community

  • Emily Reimer-Barry, USD Theology and Religious Studies,

How our Catholic values define immigration and inclusion

  • Cid Martínez, USD Sociology,

The dilemmas facing local law enforcement and immigrant communities in North County San Diego

  • Antonieta Mercado, USD Communication Studies,

Engaging indigenous migrant communities and the vectors of vulnerability

  • Yishak Kassa Tefferi, USD Kroc School of Peace Studies,

Reflections on citizenship and inclusion by an international student from a conflict zone


Public Forum

7:15-8:00 pm

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.