The Child Migrant: Children Crossing Borders, November 13

The Child Migrant: Children Crossing Borders, November 13

Joining us on November 13, 2014 to discuss this important issue:  Pulitzer Prize author, Sonia Nazario, immigration attorneys and advocates from the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and the National Immigrant Justice Center, Catholic activists working at the border, child trauma experts, human rights scholars, political scientists, and subject matter experts. Please see the speaker list below.


This past summer, the United States experienced a historically unprecedented surge of undocumented children and families seeking sanctuary and protection at the southwest border. The number of children migrating alone to the US has tripled over the last five years, with over 65,000 children apprehended this year alone, arriving mostly from Central America and Mexico. Hundreds of these children are currently in secure facilities in Chicago awaiting immigration hearings.

The purpose of this day-long educational program is to provide Loyola students and the community an opportunity to learn more about this critical children’s rights issue. Who are children and families leaving their homes? What are their experiences migrating alone through unfriendly territory and systems? What is happening to children once they arrive in the United States, and what happens to the children who are sent back? What is being done to respond to this humanitarian crisis?

This dynamic program will include theatrical flash scenes on Loyola’s Roger’s Park campus throughout the day, interactive morning and afternoon round-table discussion with advocates, attorneys, scholars, child protection experts, including service providers working directly with children and families at the border, followed by an evening of original dramatic scenes highlighting the situations of children crossing borders.


Read what Pope Francis said regarding the U.S.-Mexican border crisis here.

In July Cardinal George made it known to the public that the Archdiocese of Chicago wants to help the unaccompanied children, read the article here.


This event is free and open to the public, however we ask that you register.

Morning Session, 10am-12pm, Coffey Hall:

The purpose of this panel is to discuss the conditions contributing to the migration of unaccompanied minors and families, and the experiences they are facing when apprehended at the border. 

10am-12pmMcCormick Lounge at Coffey Hall
Lauren Heidbrink, MA/MS, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at National Louis University
Sonia Nazario, M.A. Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Enrique's Journey
Rev. Peter Neeley, S.J. Director of Educational Programs, Kino Border Initiative 
Peter Sanchez, Ph.D. Professor & Graduate Program Director at Loyola University Chicago 
Maria Vidal de Haymes, Ph.D.* Professor & Director, Loyola University Chicago



Afternoon Session, 2:30pm-4:30pm, Coffey Hall:

The purpose of this panel is to discuss the current and proposed policies and practices responding to the surge of undocumented children, as well as the risks and challenges these children face by the US government’s current response.  The question, “What can, and what should we do?” will be addressed.

2:30pm-4:30pmMcCormick Lounge at Coffey Hall
Ruthie Epstein ACLU Immigration and Criminal Justice Lobbysit
Lisa Koop JD. Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center
Sonia Nazaraio, M.A. Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Enrique's Journey
Maria Woltjen, J.D. Director, The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights at the University of Chicago
Bradley C. Stolbach, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago
Odette Yousef* Reporter, WBEZ



Evening Theatre Event, 7pm-9pm, Damen Student Center:

Teatro Vista, under the direction of  Ricardo Gutierrez, Frontera Players, Jackalope Theatre, ensemble under the direction of Kaiser Ahmed, Victory Gardens Theater and other performing artists, enact scenes describing the experiences unaccompanied children face entering and living in the United States. The evening theatre event will feature several scenes written by nationally celebrated playwrights, Loyola alumni, and Loyola students. 

7pm-9pmThe Den at Damen Student Center
Moises Zamora Award winning filmmaker, novelist, and playwright
Alice Tuan Award-winning LA based playwright, teacher, and performer
Aurora Chang, Ph.D. Author, "Undocumented to Hyperdocumented: A Jornada of Protection, Papers, and PhD Status"
Mark Guarino Award-winning Chicago based playwright and journalist, LUC Almunus
Cecilie Kennan Chicago based freelance director and producer

Campus Map for November 13



Thank you to the steering committee for making this event happen.


Aurora Chang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor School of Education
Katherine Kaufka Walts, J.D. Director Center for the Human Rights of Children
Amanda Keelor Senator, Justice Committee LUC Unified Student Government Association
Mary Ann McDermott, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus LUC E-Caucus
Nicholas Patricca, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Chicago Network
Julia Pryce, Ph.D. Assistant Professor School of Social Work
Janet Sisler Director The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership
Maria Vidal de Haymes, Ph.D. Director/Professor Institute of Migration and Global Studies in Practice/ School of Social Work


 A big thank you to the sponsors of this event: The Office of the President, the Gannon Center for Women & Leadershipthe Chicago Network, the E-Caucus (LUC emeriti faculty), the School of Education, the School of Social Work, LUC Unified Student Government Association, the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, and the Department of Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.  


Questions & Answers

Q: Who should attend this event?
A: This event is open to the public. Anyone who is interested in learning more about what is going on at the border and anyone who is interested in helping is encouraged to attend.

Q: Is there a cost?
A: No, the event is free.

Q: Do I need to RSVP?
A: Yes, due to an increased interest in the event we are asking guests to register.  The event is still free and open to the public.

Q: Where is it being held?
A: The event is taking place on Loyola University's Lake Shore Campus.  The panels are taking place in the McCormick Lounge in Coffey Hall.  

Q: Is there parking available?
A: Yes, there is a parking garage on campus.  It costs $7/day.  We encourage guests to arrive via public transit, if possible. 

Q: How do I get to campus via public transit?
A: Loyola is conveniently located off the Loyola stop on the Red line.