Past Events


Please join us December 2nd for CSERI’s undergraduate and graduate research exposition. Our Turner Schulman Fellows will showcase their multidisciplinary research regarding race, ethnicity, and immigration in the PCPSE Forum between 2 pm and 4 pm.

Research Projects

Alexander Adames and Olivia Hu (G), Sociology
“Swiping Right” for the Right One: The Causal Effect of Education, Race, and Gender in Online Dating

Carlos Aguilar (G), Sociology
Aislados: The Impact of Colonialism and Coloniality in Experiences of Migrant “Illegality” in Puerto Rico

Zohra Ansari-Thomas (G), Demography and Sociology
Migration, Marriage, and Cohabitation Among Hispanic Immigrant Women in the United States

Marco Avilés (G), Latin American Literature
A New Hegemony: How Indigenous Writers are Expanding the Literary Landscape in Bolivia

Kim Cardenas (G), Political Science
Black and Latino LGBTQ+ Contemporary Activism

Ornella Darova (G), Economics
Diversity, Faultlines and Teamwork in Random Groups

Hannah De Oliveira (U), History, Legal Studies
Conflict, Resistance, and Resolve: Uncovering Lost Narratives in Japanese American Internment

Francisco Diaz (G), Anthropology
Maya Laborers of Piedras Negras and Chichen Itza

Lotem Halevy (G), Political Science
How Parties Survive Enfranchisement in Diverse Societies: Evidence from Hungary

Adrian Ke (U), History, World concentration
Oceans Apart & Spaces Between: Sociopolitical Identity Formation of Early 20th Century Second Generation Chinese Peruvians

Joyce Kim (G), Higher Education
The Moral Dilemma of “Selling Out”: Race, Class, and Career Considerations at an Elite University

Peizhu Liu (G), Educational Linguistics
Working-class Minority Parents’ Experiences with a Chinese-English Dual Language Program

Bonnie Maldonado (G), Africana Studies
Comiendo Boca: United States Occupation of the Dominican Republic, 1916-1924

Anya Miller (U), Sociology
The Thriftification of Philadelphia: How Socioeconomic Status Impacts & Informs the Second-Hand Shopping Experience in Philadelphia

Brett Robert (G), History
Segregation and Mass Graves: The Storm of ’28 in South Florida

Marta J. Sanchis Ferrer (G), Psychology
Holistic Healing Narratives

Rebecca Schut (G), Demography and Sociology
Disaggregating Inequalities in the Career Outcomes of International Medical Graduates in the United States

Tiffany Tieu (U), Psychology
Exploring the Impact of Anti-Asian Hate on University Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Zhangyang Xie (U), Africana Studies and Science, Technology, & Society
The North Versus the South: American Religious Groups’ Views of the Civil Rights Movement

Shelley Zhang (G), Ethnomusicology
Li Delun in Philadelphia: Ethnography, Archives, and Music Across the Pacific


CSERI undergraduate and graduate research grants are generously supported by David E. Schulman, C’82, L’85, and Suzanne E. Turner, C’82, Penn parents, through the Turner Schulman Endowment.

Conversations with Penn Alumnus Efrén C. Olivares C’05

Wednesday and Thursday,
September 28-29, 2022

Efrén C. Olivares is the Deputy Legal Director of the Immigrant Justice Project at Southern Poverty Law Center. He was the lead lawyer in a successful landmark petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of families separated under the Zero Tolerance policy.

Mr. Olivares is the author of My Boy Will Die of Sorrow: A Memoir of Immigration From the Front Lines. His memoir chronicles his work as a human rights lawyer in South Texas, braiding his own story as an immigrant with similar life experiences to that of his clients. Mr. Olivares’ book presents us with a deeply personal perspective that reframes the United States’ history as a nation of immigrants but also a nation against immigrants.

Wednesday, September 28: Two Conversations (Register)
3 – 4 pm 
International and US Refugee Law and Policy: Students will review the regulations and necessary forms for asylum seekers.

4 – 5 pm
A conversation with Efrén, law students, and members of the public. Efrén will be joining the class lecture on International and U.S. Refugee Law with Professor Fernando Chang-Muy. He will focus on the lived experience and intricacies and challenges of seeking asylum.

Thursday, September 29, 2 – 3 pm
Cafecito @ La Casa Latina (Suite G12), ARCH, 3601
Locust Walk (students and alumni)
Join us for an informal and intimate conversation with Efren to learn more about his journey to and through Penn. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022, 6 – 9 pm
Latinx Heritage Month Dolores Huerta Keynote Lecture
(Registration required)

6:00 pm
Keynote: Zero Tolerance: Journeys Through Family Separation and US Immigration Policy

Huntsman Hall (3730 Walnut Street)

7:30 pm
Reception and Book Signing

(Across the street)
Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business
The Lounge and Courtyard
3732 Locust Walk
Copies of My Boy Will Die of Sorrow will be available for purchase

Students, alumni, all members of the Penn community, and wider Philadelphia community are invited to attend, unless otherwise noted.

Co-sponsored by CSERI

Unpacking Latino Conservatism

Thursday, September 15, 2022
5 – 6:30 pm
Auditorium 208
The Arch Building
3601 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania

Geraldo Cadava
Author, The Hispanic Republican

Michael Jones-Correa
President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science

Moderator: Chenoa Flippen, Professor of Sociology

More than a matter of partisan politics, conservatism is an under-explored aspect of Latino history, culture, and identity, and one that is necessary for understanding who Latinos are and have been in the fullest possible sense. The history of Latino conservatism from the 1950s to the present will be discussed, as well as its possible future trajectories.

Geraldo Cadava is a Professor of History and Director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University. His areas of expertise are Latino history, the United States-Mexico borderlands, Latin American immigration to the United States, and American politics.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies, La Casa Latina, Penn Migration Initiative, and CSERI

Book Talk – The Sanctuary City: Immigrant, Refugee, and Receiving Communities
in Postindustrial Philadelphia

by Domenic Vitiello
Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
12 pm

473 McNeil Building
3718 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania

Professor Vitiello will discuss his recently published book about Central American, Southeast Asian, African, Arab, and Mexican communities in Philadelphia in the late 20th and 21st century. The book and his talk explore what sanctuary has meant for different groups of people at different times and places.

Professor of Sociology Chenoa Flippen, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Ethnicity Race and Immigration (CSERI) will comment.

In The Sanctuary City, Domenic Vitiello argues that sanctuary means much more than the limited protections offered by city governments or churches sheltering immigrants from deportation. It is a wider set of protections and humanitarian support for vulnerable newcomers. Sanctuary cities are the places where immigrants and their allies create safe spaces to rebuild lives and communities, often through the work of social movements and community organizations or civil society.

Philadelphia has been an important center of sanctuary and reflects the growing diversity of American cities in recent decades. One result of this diversity is that sanctuary means different things for different immigrant, refugee, and receiving communities. Vitiello explores the migration, settlement, and local and transnational civil society of Central Americans, Southeast Asians, Liberians, Arabs, Mexicans, and their allies in the region across the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Together, their experiences illuminate the diversity of immigrants and refugees in the United States and what is at stake for different people, and for all of us, in our immigration debates.

The book is available free online.

Haitian Migration through the Americas

April 21, 2022
2 – 5 pm

The Forum
Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
University of Pennsylvania
133 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The sharp increase in Haitian migration in the past two years has garnered significant media attention as migrants have been met with opposition from border authorities. In an effort to better understand the structural conditions and individual experiences undergirding these changing migration patterns, speakers will discuss the past, present, and future of Haiti. Delving into the recent past and current conditions in Haiti, they will reflect on how history and spatial journeys can help us understand the challenges and experiences of contemporary migrants. With an eye towards the future, and moving beyond pure understanding towards collective action, speakers will propose steps that civil society organizations and governments, acting both at the national and international levels at home and abroad, could undertake to ameliorate the difficult situation of millions of Haitian citizens in and outside of Haiti.

Mamyrah Douge-Prosper,
University of California, Irvine (virtual)
Alex Dupuy, Wesleyan University
Guerline Jozef, Haitian Bridge Alliance

Keynote Speaker
Georges Fouron
, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Past, Present, and Future:
Queer and Trans of Color Activism in Philadelphia

April 13, 2022
4 – 5:30 pm

The Forum
Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
University of Pennsylvania
133 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

LGBTQ+ people of color have historically acted as political bridge-builders and radical change-makers on behalf of their multiple communities. Join three queer activists of color, Hanae Mason from Black Lives Matter Philadelphia, Jorian Rivera-Veintidos from GALAEI: QTBIPOC Radical Social Justice, and Dionne Stallworth, co-founder of the Transgender Health Action Coalition, for a discussion/teach-in and Q&A on queerness, race, and activism in Philadelphia. The conversation will be moderated by Kim Cardenas, PhD Candidate in Political Science.

Open to all members of the Penn community interested in issues of intersectionality.

The Asian American Experience: Diversity and Challenges

April 1, 2022
9 am – 5 pm

The Forum
Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
University of Pennsylvania
133 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104



This day-long conference is designed to bring together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates interested in Asian Americans, and race and ethnicity more broadly. For the past twenty years Asian Americans have experienced the most rapid growth of any ethno-racial population in the United States. Numbering over 22 million, Asian Americans trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East, Southeast, and South Asia. This diversity in origins is matched by tremendous variability in terms of socioeconomic status, religion, geographic location, experiences with discrimination, identity, political orientation, immigrant generation and legal status, and many other factors that are central to understanding Asian Americans’ position in U.S. society. Speakers at this event will address the complexities of Asian American identity, data and methodological innovations, the diversity of the U.S. Asian population, and Asian youth and activism.


Asian American Identity

Dina Okamoto, Indiana University, Bloomington
Zhenchao Qian, Brown University
Tahseen Shams, University of Toronto

Data & Methodological Innovations
Lan Ðoàn, New York University Langone
Dasol Kim, University of Pennsylvania
Zai Liang
University at Albany, SUNY

Diversity of the U.S. Asian Population
Sanjoy Chakravorty, Temple University
Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, New York University
Amy Hsin, Queens College, CUNY

Asian Youth & Activism
Kevin Escudero, Brown University
Rachel Kuo, New York University
Diane Wong, Rutgers University, Newark

Sponsored by CSERI, ASAM, and Population Studies Center

Holding Fast: Resilience and Civic Engagement Among Latino Immigrants

October 30, 2020
12 noon

A conversation with Michael Jones-Correa, President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of CSERI, on his new book. Holding Fast outlines the complex political situation in which Latino immigrants find themselves today and provides a nuanced, thoughtful outlook on the future of Latino civic participation.


LALSIS Speaker Series



Racial and Ethnic Politics Workshop
for Junior Faculty

History, Institutions and Theory Research Coordination Network

February 28-29, 2020
hosted by CSERI

Rodney Hero, Arizona State University
Juliet Hooker, Brown University
Michael Jones-Correa, University of Pennsylvania
Jane Junn, University of Southern California
Alvin Tillery, Northwestern University

Local Responses to Change in the Philadelphia Region:
Race, Class, and Immigration



November 8, 2019
9 am – 5 pm

University of Pennsylvania
Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
and Economics
The Forum
133 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Philadelphia region – both the city and its surrounding counties – has been transformed over the last decades, driven by economic and demographic changes like immigration, gentrification, and a racially diverse trend in movement to the suburbs. CSERI has invited a distinguished group of speakers from local governments, non-profit organizations, development organizations and service providers who will present insights on local efforts to address integration; housing, jobs and economic development; health, education and social services; and the role of county and local governments.


Local Integration

• Carmen Guerrero, Coalición Fortaleza Latina
• Portia Kamara, Multicultural Community Family Services
• Raya Fagg, Welcome Center of Upper Darby
• Manuel Portillo, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
Moderator: Michael Jones-Correa, Political Science, Penn

Housing, Jobs and Economic Development

• Billie Barnes, Bucks County Workforce Development Board
• Aziz Jalil, Palestinian American Community of Greater Philadelphia
• Jennifer Rodriguez, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Moderator: Domenic Vitiello, City Planning and Urban Studies, Penn

Health, Education and Social Services

• Wendy Gaynor, Chester County Food Bank
• Nelly Jiménez, ACLAMO
• Ludy Soderman, School District of Philadelphia
Moderator: Chenoa Flippen, Sociology, Penn

County and Local Governments

• Sekela Coles, Upper Darby Township Council
• Scott France, Montgomery County Planning Department
• Brian O’Leary, Chester County Planning Commission
Moderator: Dan Hopkins, Political Science, Penn

poster with text 

Immigration has been a vital political issue in both the United States and globally for decades, with economic, security, and humanitarian implications. The current federal administration has sharply increased the number of children separated from their families while seeking entry into the United States, and has limited immigration through capping refugee admissions at the lowest levels since 1980. President Trump has repeatedly expressed an intention to take actions including denying immigrants entry if they are likely to need public assistance, eliminating birthright citizenship, constructing a border wall with Mexico, aggressive deportation of undocumented immigrants, and temporary bans on Muslim immigration. The plight of migrants internationally has gripped the United States and Europe, as images of children in cages at the United States border and overloaded boats in the Mediterranean have become media fixtures.

This Provost’s Lecture on Diversity will illuminate political and practical concerns related to immigration as Michael Jones-Correa, the President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science, explores “What Borders Do.” We often think of borders as walls. Borders are much more than that. In response to increased asylum seekers from around the world, developed nations are reconceiving their borders, pushing them out, and pulling them in. Professor Jones-Correa highlights the difficult issues raised by the re-imagination of borders and the trade-offs policymakers face. He will be joined by the Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer in Law, Fernando Chang-Muy, who will moderate audience questions. Professor Chang-Muy returns to Penn from a recent education campaign in Honduras to educate people about the legal obstacles, rights, and landscape of the trip to the north. The reception that follows the lecture, in Silverman Hall, will feature the photography of Mexican-American artist Ada Trillo, documenting the lives of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Precarious Statuses of Migrants


May 23, 2019
9 am – 5 pm

University of Pennsylvania
Perry World House
World Forum
3803 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Keynote Speaker
Michel Gabaudan
Former President, Refugees International

Many migrants around the world inhabit precarious statuses: living either partly or fully outside the boundaries of legal membership in their countries of residence, with consequences for their access to social services, rights and membership. This workshop explores ways migrants navigate incomplete membership and gaps in access with international participants addressing types of migrant precariousness and temporary statuses; how migrant precarity affects access to rights and services, ranging from education to health, to land ownership and local voting; how migrants have obtained pathways to membership; and the spaces in which migrants have pushed to acquire both rights, services and membership through civic engagement.

Workshop Participants

  • Amada Armenta, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Osman Balkan, Swarthmore College
  • Tanya Basok, University of Windsor, Canada
  • Heide Castañeda, University of South Florida
  • Nicola Delvino, University of Oxford, England
  • Angela Garcia, University of Chicago
  • Natasha Iskander, New York University
  • Nnamdi Iwuora, International Organization for Migration, Senegal
  • Barbara Laubenthal, University of Texas at Austin
  • Froilan Malit, Gulf Labour Markets and Migration (GLMM) Programme
  • Thulisile Mphambukeli, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • Ruxandra Paul, Amherst College
  • Kamal Sadiq, University of California, Irvine
  • Stephanie Schwartz, University of Pennsylvania
  • Paloma Villegas, California State University, San Bernardino
  • Sarah Willen, University of Connecticut 

Antinomies of Democracy

November 16, 2018
9 am – 5 pm

University of Pennsylvania
Ronald O. Perelman Center
for Political Science and Economics
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
With the resurgence of fascism and xenophobia in the world, scholars and pundits have declared that democracy is in crisis. However, history reveals that democracies have always existed amidst systems that thrive on inequality.

This symposium will focus on two questions:

  • Are certain forms of exclusion intrinsic to the practice of democracy?
  • How distinct is contemporary democracy’s relationship to inequality from earlier periods in history?

Conference Participants

  • Anne Norton, University of Pennsylvania
  • Tulia Falleti, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jeffrey Winters, Northwestern University
  • Michael Hanchard, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ariane Chebel D’Appollonia, Rutgers University
  • Christopher Parker, University of Washington
  • Demetra Kasimis, University of Chicago
  • Sophia Rosenfeld, University of Pennsylvania


9:00 – 9:15 AM

9:15 – 10:45 AM
Panel 1: Demetria Kasimis, Jeff Winters

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Panel 2: Christopher Parker, Tulia Falletti

1:30 – 3:00 PM
Panel 3: Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia, Sophia Rosenfeld

3:00 – 4:30 PM
Panel 4: Michael Hanchard, Anne Norton

4:45 – 5:00 PM
Concluding Remarks

This symposium is sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Marginalized Populations Project, Center for Africana Studies, and Department of Africana Studies and co-sponsored by the Center for the Advanced Study of India, the Political Science Department, and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration.