Canada geese fly south for the winter. A plume of radiation drifts from a damaged Japanese power plant across the Pacific. Syrian refugees flee their homes to find sanctuary in Jordan. Infectious diseases “jump” from species such as birds and swine to humans.
Migration comes in many forms, and Sacramento State’s One World Initiative is exploring all its facets and impacts throughout the fall and spring semesters.
A symposium on Monday, Sept. 30, will look at a number of those perspectives from the viewpoint of students who have migrated from other countries to Sac State to further their education.
“From My Country to Yours: International Perspectives on Migration” runs noon to 4 p.m. in the University’s Alumni Center. Students from the College of Continuing Education’s English Language Institute (ELI) will share their points of view on migration through multimedia presentations, posters and a panel discussion.
Similar to the One Book program, the One World Initiative presents one topic that instructors may include in their curricula, and that will be the subject of special discussions, lectures and other events throughout the school year.
“Our goal is always to have a topic that’s very broad and in which any discipline can participate,” says Geology Professor Lisa Hammersley, coordinator of the One World Initiative. To illustrate just how wide-ranging it can be, Hammersley points out that molecules and elements migrate. Toxins migrate through groundwater, and even tectonic plates migrate, at times causing earthquakes. The topic also includes the arts, since immigrants influence theater, music, dance and fine art in their new countries.
The Sept. 30 symposium with the ELI students is an example of the topic’s broad scope. ELI students come to Sac State to study English in preparation for entering American universities or enhancing their business skills.
The students will not only make presentations about subjects such as immigration in their own nations, but even broader interpretations, such as environmental migration. “They’re even looking at how technology has migrated,” says ELI instructor Niccole Scrogins.
The symposium begins with welcoming remarks from Sheree Meyer, associate dean of Undergraduate Studies. The multimedia presentation and panel discussion will follow, and the poster presentations will be continuous throughout the afternoon. The public is invited to attend at any time.
“This not only broadens the perspectives of the ELI students,” Scrogins says, “it also gets them engaged with the rest of the campus, which is good for them and good for the campus community.”
Other upcoming events include a series of film screenings as part of a class called Film and Culture in a Globalized World. “Lord of War” on Wednesday, Nov. 6, details the international trafficking of arms. “Sleep Dealer” on Wednesday, Dec. 11, depicts a dystopian future in which technology oppresses and connects migrants. Both screenings are at 6 p.m. in Alpine 122 and are open to the campus community.
In the spring, one of Sacramento State’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lectures will focus on migration, the Africa Diaspora Conference will include migration as a component during its April 24-26 gathering, and there will be an end-of-year celebration with a keynote speaker, faculty panel and student presentations.
Hammersley says that when she first took on the One World Initiative, she envisioned “global” as meaning “international” but soon saw that it incorporates different perspectives and disciplines as well as nations and regions.
“If you look at the major issues facing the world, the solutions to those problems will likely not come from just one disciplinary point of view,” she says. “They’re going to come from ideas and perspectives from artists and scientists, historians and multicultural points of view.”
For more information on the One World Initiative, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.
– Craig Koscho