Human Rights Day – December 10th, 2019

Human Rights Day is held on the 10th of December every year in commemoration of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948. The UDHR was the first document to make claim that everyone is inherently entitled to equal human rights regardless of their race, religion, sex, language, political opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.  

Every year, a different theme is chosen for Human Rights Day in hopes that this holiday can bring about awareness to various human rights issues. 

This year’s theme is “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.” 

.     

This theme was chosen in response to the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was celebrated in mid-November, and will focus on the leadership roles young people maintain around the world. 

In conjunction with the theme “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights”, the UN is once again utilizing its hashtag #standup4humanrights. The four focuses of this year’s campaign are: 

 

 

Take a Stand Against Bullying

  • This campaign focuses on the fact that ⅓ of all teens experience bullying, and suggests more can be done in the areas of in-person and online bullying.   

 

 

 

 

 

Take a Stand for Climate Justice

  • This campaign urges us to acknowledge and respond to climate change, and pays homage to Greta Thunberg who led over 40 million people (from 163 countries) in the largest climate protest in history.  

 

 

 

Take a Stand for Everyone’s Voice to Be Heard

  • This campaign tells us that only 2% of Members of Parliament (over 45,000 around the world) are under the age of thirty, and insists we pay more attention to who is being represented, and who is being left out of the political decision-making process. 

 

 

 

 

Stand Up for the Equal Rights of LGBTI People Everywhere

  • This campaign draws attention to the reality that nearly ⅓ of the world’s countries still consider same-sex relationships to be a crime, and suggests that this thinking leads to widespread discrimination of LGBTI people. 

 

 

This Human Rights Day, stand up for equal rights to all, and consider what you can do to take a stand against bullying and climate change, and fight for equal representation and LGBTI rights. 

_________________________________________

Photos courtesy of the United Nations Human Rights Day Campaign Materials. 

For more information about Human Rights Day, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, visit the United Nations website located here. https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day

To learn more about this year’s theme and utilize UN Human Rights Day materials, go here. https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day/resources#2019campaignmaterials

Read full story · Comments are closed

Global Migrations Poster Exhibit

In conjunction with Professor Andrea Melgarejo de Berry’s graduate level architecture studio class, the Center for Global Studies is proud to support an exhibition in Room 309 of the International and Area Studies (IAS) Library for the remainder of the academic year. The course, ARCH574 – Architecture & Urban Design, provides graduate students with a unique studio space where they can research and create various visual projects relating to global migration trends.

____________________________________________________

About the course:

ARCHITECTURE  574 – GRADUATE DESIGN STUDIO_Fa19

Illinois School of Architecture – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Andrea Melgarejo de Berry

Teaching Assistant Professor

Email: melgare2@illinois.edu

Permanent Impermanence

Design for inclusive cities

Immigrants and refugees face a variety of challenges in their new urban communities such as language, access to services, employment, housing, and cultural barriers. Despite challenges, there are also opportunities they can bring to our cities and economy. By understanding the challenges and opportunities, this studio explores proposals to provide urban design solutions that promote belonging, dignity, and resilience for immigrants and refugees navigating the challenges of urban life in their host community. This studio proposes ways to adapt and accommodate a sudden growth of population that provide adequate housing, employment opportunities, and social connections to a new community maintaining their own identity.

In this studio, students…

-Explore solutions at an urban scale

-Expand the notion of architecture beyond basic shelter

-Care about human dignity and equality

-Test conceptual solutions

-Explore data analysis and representation of information

____________________________________________________

Showcasing nearly thirty posters, and several display pieces, this exhibit highlights a number of crises migrants and immigrants face around the world. The posters relate to a variety of geographical places including France, Syria, Nepal, India, and the United States, and more. The exhibit will be up in Room 309 of the IAS Library until the second week of December. Go by and check it out!

Read full story · Comments are closed

World Digital Preservation Day

World Digital Preservation Day will be celebrated on November 7th of this year. 

Generally speaking, Digitization involves the process of taking something from analog form (paper-based) to digital form. More specifically, in relation to information resources, digitization involves creating digital text by converting handwritten or typewritten text. Digital Preservation refers to the preserving of paper-based documents by converting them into digital form. Digital preservation is largely utilized within archives, where rare documents and manuscripts often need to be digitally copied before they disintegrate or break down to a point where they can no longer be read or studied, however, digital preservation is also used in numerous other areas where resources need to be more accessible, such as medical records, legal documents, business policies, or news-related materials. Digitization can relate to things both big and small — either companies digitizing their efforts, or family members converting their old slides or photos to digital form.

Digital Preservation is an industry that is often overlooked. But in a world where digital resources are beginning to take precedence over physical materials, the need for digitization grows. More and more resources today are available only in digital forms. Some news sources move to broadcast solely online, rather than in print; some authors publish only e-books, rather than insisting on printing physical copies; many products now provide instruction manuals only online, leaving out a disk or other mode of installation. So, if digitization is such a vital aspect of today’s world, why do we not place greater importance on the digital preservation industry? Some think the answer to this question is simple: awareness. While consumers interact with digital resources every day, they may not think about the work it takes for something to be digitized. In response to this, World Digital Preservation Day (WDPD) was created so that credit could be paid to digital preservationists, and awareness could be drawn to how the processes of digital preservation vary around the world. 

World Digital Preservation Day is held every year on the first Thursday of November in hopes to bring awareness to digitization and celebrate the progress digital preservers have made over the years. On their website, the Digital Preservation Coalition boasts the diversity and need of preservation in numerous sectors including industry, commerce, government, research, law, medicine, and media, to name a few. In 2018, World Digital Preservation Day culminated in the Digital Preservation Awards ceremony in Amsterdam. This event was hosted by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network and the Amsterdam Museum as part of an international conference for WDPD.

To see more about how World Digital Preservation Day was celebrated in 2018, you can visit the Coalition blog to read stories of digital preservation, “see what a digital preservation day looks like” on Instagram, and watch videos on YouTube YouTube on how digital preservationists around the world celebrate WDPD. 

To check out past events happening around the world for WDPD, visit https://dpconline.org/events/past-events.

Read full story · Comments are closed

Climate Action Game Experiment (CAGE)

Rapporteur: Lynne Rudasill, Global Studies Librarian, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

On October 23, 2019, Clifford Singer, Research and Emeritus Professor of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, and of Political Science presented the latest entry in the event series – Global Migrations – sponsored by the Center for Global Studies.  His topic related to the work he and his team of researchers have been doing on the Climate Action Game Experiment (CAGE).  The research community claims that climate change has already had an impact on migration.  According to the International Organization for Migration, by the mid-1990s up to 25 million individuals had been forced to leave their homes due to climate change-related factors and this number is expected to increase to as high as 200 million by 2050 if the effects of climate change are not mitigated.[1]  The goal of the CAGE team is to develop a data-calibrated probability distribution for the actual climate change outcomes, including how climate change alters anthropogenic effects, and suggest some scenarios for mitigating these effects.

The researchers, led by Singer, captured 200 years’ worth of demographic, economic, and climate data for a large number of countries to help develop a model of how these countries might react to climate change and its resultant effects.  The goal of the research is to develop estimations for the probability of future emissions scenarios that can be applied for human development.  The policy modifications were based on assumed scenarios and interactive negotiation exercises with a view to further develop game theory in the matter.

The team grouped countries into regions that included “Green New Deal Countries”, “No New Policy Countries”, “Negotiation Block with China Countries”, and “New Policy Countries” that represent extant negotiating blocks.  They calculated welfare damage impact based on the policy options and, in addition, developed insights on possible outcomes.  These include the posit that an immediate commitment to zero emissions by 2050 would be unlikely based on economic self interest of any block alone – something else would have to be of benefit.  In addition, from a purely altruistic view, flexibility in policy and resources is necessary to deal with an already acute situation.  Professor Singer also provided scenarios for two approaches to global climate change adaptation related to the political stability of the countries in question.  The choices are between improving public health and the environment and establishing the means by which to deal with an exponential increase in human migration.

Singer also discussed the issues of the increase in ambient temperature and the increase in concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, including the factors increasing atmospheric carbon.  There appears to be no realistic, lone political solution to a reduction in the global warming that is taking place.  It will be necessary to employ some type of geoengineering to deal with the problem.  The partial solution posited in this presentation was stratospheric Sulphur injection to reduce the extent of the rise in temperature.  The problem of reducing CO2 remains to be more fully explored in relationship to the lowered temperatures.

In conclusion, a flexible approach can be more credible and more beneficial to a green new deal region, without necessarily reducing overall global economic welfare.  In the nearer term, continuing the alleviation of the impacts of poverty and more systematic, humane approaches to displaced persons can be more cost effective than promising to go all of the way to zero net CO2 equivalent emissions between 2040 and 2050.

__________________________________________________________

[1] Brown, Oli (Prepared by) (2008). Migration and Climate Change, IOM Migration Research Series, No. 31, International Organization for Migration, Geneva.  Accessed at: https://www.ipcc.ch › apps › njlite › srex › njlite_download

__________________________________________________________

Slides from the presentation are available at: https://cgs.illinois.edu/files/2019/10/Singer-Cage.pdf

A guide to resources related to this presentation is available at: Climate Action Game Experiment

Read full story · Comments are closed

Global Media and Information Literacy Week

Global Media and Information Literacy Week is hosted every year by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Initiated in 2012, Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week seeks to “unite diverse actors committed to promoting MIL as a way to foster social inclusion and intercultural dialogue” (unesco.org).  This year’s Global MIL week will be held from October 24-31 and is titled “MIL Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered.” The feature conference was held on September 24-26 in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

Media and Information Literacy is vital to all individuals, regardless of their age, their economic status, or where they live. Living in a world that is continuously becoming more and more digitally-minded, MIL is vastly important around the world. Unlike traditional “information literacy”, media and information literacy focuses on the use of information through different media platforms. MIL is significant in today’s world because it enables the communication and connectivity of individuals to information, and to each other. The utilization of Global MIL Week encourages the creation of local events in order to promote MIL connections around the world between various disciplines and professions. 

________________________________________

For more information, visit the UNESCO page titled Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2019

 

Read full story · Comments are closed

Framing the Global Immigrant Challenge: Evidence from Elected Representatives’ Tweets

On Thursday October 17th, the Center for Global Studies hosted Dr. David D. Laitin, a co-founder of the Immigration Policy Lab, and James T. Watkins and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. CGS invited Dr. Laitin to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to give a presentation on his latest research project as part of the MillerComm Series in conjunction with the Center for Global Studies’ year-long series on Global Migrations. Dr. Laitin’s presentation was titled “Framing the Global Immigrant Challenge: Evidence from Elected Representatives’ Tweets.”

Dr. Laitin began by outlining several ideas. First, he suggested that the global migration crisis sees a steady flow of migrants coming from the Global South to the Global North, a phenomenon that continuously changes the culture and industry found in the North. Second, he highlighted the need to talk about migration and immigration, and the serious humanitarian challenge that the growing number of refugees and displaced peoples presents. He then posed several questions he believes to be pertinent to his overall project and the global migration crisis. They were:

  • “Does the salience of the immigration issue divide left and right traditional parties?
  • Do sentiments towards immigrants and refugees divide the left and right traditional parties?
  • Do elected officials develop coherent doctrine consistent with their party’s comparative advantage or are tweets merely event driven?
  • Are the tweets from the traditional parties responsive to the tweets of the nativist parties?
  • Do left and right parties own different dimensions or topics in the immigration realm?”

Dr. Laitin’s project involved a long process of data collection. First, he and his team identified elected officials from the countries of France, Germany, Canada, and the U.S. who were in office between 2013 and 2019. They then collected all the tweets from each elected official in each country from that time frame. They collected over 8 million tweets using Twitter’s streaming API. During the categorization process, the system was able to organize the tweets into four sections: those relating to immigration and its connections to economy, security, law, and culture. The results of these groupings suggested that these countries, the United States and Germany included[TDC1] , care most about what effect immigration has on security and law. Of the four categories, the influences of immigration on economics and culture were thought to be less significant; however, they are still significant enough to mention.

At the end of his presentation, Dr. Laitin made several overarching conclusions. First and foremost, he made the argument that elected officials are utilizing Twitter to react to daily events, rather than using Twitter as a tool to discuss long-term immigration trends. Second, he made the conclusion that neither left nor right traditional parties favor positive or negative tweets. On average, elected officials tweeted both positive and negative sentiments towards immigration, regardless of their party affiliation. However, the salience of far right parties was greater in response to immigration overall. Elected officials associated with far right politics tweeted more about issues relating to immigration than officials associated with more left parties.

Dr. Laitin’s observations on these topics included:

  •       Political parties affiliated with the right are more inclined to tweet about issues of immigration and security, but less about immigration and culture;
  •       Both sides of the political spectrum downplay the significance of immigration within discussions of economics and culture; and
  •       Canada provides a unique outlier, as they give no favor to any one dimension or topic.

The API used by Dr. Laitin and his team is stil  l running in real-time, continuously collecting tweets from elected officials. Dr. Laitin and his team are planning to include more countries and languages in the future, and hopefully create a website or database so the tweets and their trends are more readily available to researchers and the public.

_______________________________________________________

To learn more about Dr. Laitin, you can visit his faculty page from Stanford University.

To research more about global migration issues and politics, visit the libguide titled “Framing the Global Immigrant Challenge: Evidence from Elected Representatives’ Tweets”.

Read full story · Comments are closed

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is held on the 10th of October every year. First celebrated in 1992, World Mental Health Day was created by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) in an attempt to bring awareness of mental health issues, and encourage advocacy against the social stigmas that encapsulate them. The day has been observed for the last 26 years to remind us that mental health affects all regions of the world, not just those we interact with. 

World Mental Health Day specializes in a specific topic each year. Previous topics include: 

  • 1996 – Women and Mental Health
  • 1997 – Children and Mental Health
  • 1998 – Mental Health and Human Rights
  • 1999 – Mental Health and Aging
  • 2000 – Mental Health and Work (this program continued into 2001)
  • 2002 – The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children and Adolescents
  • 2003 – Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children
  • 2004 – The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health: Co-Occurring Disorders
  • 2005 – Mental and Physical Health Across the Lifespan
  • 2006 – Building Awareness – Reducing Risk: Mental Illness and Suicide
  • 2007 – Mental Health in a Changing World: The Impact of Culture and Diversity
  • 2008 – Making Mental Health a Global Priority: Scaling up Services through Citizen Advocacy
  • 2009 – Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health
  • 2010 – Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illness
  • 2011 – The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health
  • 2012 – Depression: A Global Crisis
  • 2013 – Mental Health and Older Adults
  • 2014 – Living with Schizophrenia
  • 2015 – Dignity in Mental Health
  • 2016 – Psychological First Aid
  • 2017 – Mental Health in the Workplace
  • 2018 – Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World

This year’s World Mental Health Day will focus on suicide prevention. According to National Today, a website designated to bringing awareness to global holidays, you can observe World Mental Health Day in the following ways:

Check out the WHO website for campaign information

Go to the World Mental Health Day page on the: WHO website to learn about resources and activities taking place around the world and near you.

Organize a conversation in your office or community

Start your own conversation about what it takes to be healthy in body and mind by organizing an event with your friends and neighbors. It can be a powerful way to learn more about each other and strengthen support networks close to home.

Educate yourself about mental health and share an important stat on social media

Chances are there is a lot about depression or OCD you don’t know—who is most affected? How early do people show symptoms? What are the tell-tale symptoms? Find out something you didn’t know and make sure to tell your friends.

_______________________________________________________

For more information about this year’s World Mental Health Day, you can watch the YouTube video found here, or visit the World Health Organization’s page found here.

Other organizations that focus on mental health include:

Time to Change

World Federation for Mental Health

Mental Health Foundation

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

American Mental Wellness Association

Movement for Global Mental Health

Please visit these sites to find more resources and learn more about mental health.

____________________________________________

Photos courtesy of pexels.com (free usage photos).

Read full story · Comments are closed

Unaccompanied Immigrant Kids in the United States

On Wednesday, September 18th, Lauren Aronson gave a presentation titled “Unaccompanied Immigrant Kids in the United States: the Journey and the Destination.”

Aronson is an Associate Clinical Professor with the College of Law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Previously, she has worked at Louisiana State University directing the Immigration Law Clinic, at Michigan State University as a Clinical Teaching Fellow, and with the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago where she worked directly with detained unaccompanied immigrant children.

Wednesday’s discussion was based on Aronson’s experience working with unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States. She began by explaining a number of acronyms that are often involved in discussions on immigration. They are:

  • UAC____________Unaccompanied Alien Child
  • CBP____________Customs & Border Protection
  • ICE_____________Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  • ORR____________Office of Refugee Resettlement
  • NTA_____________Notice to Appear

Aronson then continued her presentation by walking us through the process these children face, and sharing with us her personal experiences and anecdotes from working with the National Immigrant Justice Center. According to Aronson, at the end of August of this year, there weremore than 72,000 unaccompanied children living in the United States, a huge influx from 2010 when the number was around 18,000. Of these children, a large majority migrate from four Central American countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. Aronson explained that these children are labeled as “unaccompanied” when they are under age 18, lack legal status, and do not have a legal parent or guardian living in the United States. However, because it is very difficult to locate family members and find out if a legal guardian is living in the U.S., often a large number of these children are detained despite actually having family in the country.

Unaccompanied children come to the U.S. a number of ways, and for a variety of reasons. Many children come by bus, train, or walking or hitchhiking, some families pay smugglers to take their children over the border, or sometimes, you can find children smuggling other children. These children come from countries with high poverty rates and high homicide rates. Currently, the homicide rate in the U.S. is between 4.5% and 5%. The homicide rate in Honduras alone is nine times that. Sometimes because of this overabundance of violence, unaccompanied children are enabled to stay by seeking asylum. But more often, these children are held in detention until they leave voluntarily or are removed from the country.

The process begins when a child enters the United States and is taken into custody by CBP (Customs & Border Protection). Within  72 hours, these children are expected to be transferred under ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) authority, and moved to an ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement). These resettlement centers are considered to be “shelters” for children waiting to be reunited with their families. But more realistically, these detention camps treat the children more like captives; the children are unable to come and go as they please, they are forced to wear uniforms, and they have to adhere to a schedule. In the detention centers, every child is given a medical examination and legal screening which involves things like being vaccinated, having dental work done, and meeting with a lawyer or legal aid so they can be told their rights. While in detention, the children have one hour of recreation time every day and usually start learning English. Social workers and mental health services are often available to children, but the detention centers have been given the name “las hieleras”, or “the iceboxes”, because the centers are so cold, and often these children are left exposed without proper necessities. When some children can no longer stand living in detention, they volunteer to be removed. If they choose to stay, they must wait until they receive an NTA (Notice to Appear in Immigration court), and go to trial. The average stay of a child living in an ORR is  57 days.

If a child does not choose to “voluntarily depart”, if they do not age out (become 19  years of age while living in detention), and are given an NTA, they have the opportunity to go to immigration court and plead their case. When a child arrives at his/her Master Calendar Hearing (MCH), they are presented with their “alien number” and the allegations against them. These allegations are usually given in the following structure:

  1. You are not a citizen of the United States
  2. You are a citizen of ________
  3. You entered the United States around this area, and on or around this date
  4. You are present in the United States without a lawful visa

When a defendant pleads guilty, their only hope of staying is to then argue for “immigration relief”. This relief consists of an individual either seeking asylum on the basis of some kind of cultural, political, social, or gender violence, or by filling for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), which involves proving he/she has been abused or neglected by a parent in his/her home country.

Aronson explained to us that this lengthy process involves endless obstacles for unaccompanied children, and her hour-long description is only scratching the surface of what is going on in this country. A large number of children never make it to the point where they can go to immigration court and plead their case, and even if they do, there is no guarantee their appeal to seek asylum or SIJS will be approved. Aronson took several questions and expanded on more finite details of the conditions the children live in and how they arrive, and ended with the statement that, while the overabundance of unaccompanied children and the treatment of them is daunting and dreary, there are many things we as citizens can do to help.

_______________________________________________

To learn more about Lauren Aronson, visit her faculty page on the College of Law website. https://law.illinois.edu/faculty-research/faculty-profiles/aronson-lauren-r/

To learn more about this topic, visit the University Library’s libguide. https://guides.library.illinois.edu/c.php?g=966084&p=6979851

To follow current events pertaining to immigration in the U.S., follow the proceedings and publications of organizations such as the National Immigrant Justice Center. https://www.immigrantjustice.org/issues/unaccompanied-immigrant-children

Read full story · Comments are closed

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is an international holiday sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), a specialized agency of the United Nations that focuses on issues relating to education around the world. On their website (hyperlink), UNESCO identifies “the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights” and insists there is a growing need “to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society” (1). International Literacy Day was established by UNESCO on October 26th, 1966 in an attempt to bring awareness, not only to the high level of illiteracy worldwide, but also to the importance of literacy for the individual and the community. Every year, the UN chooses a specific theme to address various obstacles to literacy and quality education. Previous themes have included “Literacy and Sustainable Development”; “Literacy and Health”, with a focus on Epidemics such as HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; “Literacy and Empowerment”, with an emphasis on Gender Equality and the empowerment of women; and “Literacy and Peace”.

This year, for its 52nd year, International Literacy Day will focus on “Literacy and Multilingualism” in hopes to embrace “linguistic diversity in education and literacy development” (1). With the theme “Literacy and Multilingualism”, International Literacy Day hopes to enable discussions of how multilingualism is characterized and utilized in a world today, a world that is both highly globalized and digitalized.

The lowest literacy rates today can be seen in North Central Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Typically these low literacy rates are tied with people’s inability to access quality education, whether dictated by a lack of resources, poverty, gender inequality, or other cultural factors. 

However, despite the high rate of illiteracy in Africa, the Middle East, and many parts of Asia, these regions have seen leaps and bounds in youth literacy. While the high rate of illiteracy of elders has remained the same in the past ten years, statistics have shown more and more children and young adults are becoming literate.

  • According to Merriam-Webster, the terms “literate” and “illiterate” can be defined as follows: 
    • literate – “educated; able to read and write” 
    • Illiterate – “having little or no education: especially unable to read or write”

Today, 17% of the world remains illiterate, and while 17% doesn’t seem like a lot, the population of the world in 2018 was just over 7.5 billion people. That means 1.3 billion people around the world are unable to read and write today.

When considering the significance of this number, it is important to keep in mind that this number denotes only the number of people who cannot read or write. These “illiterate” people are still capable of communicating and interacting with the rest of the world by other means. For example, numerous communities around the world today remain oral societies; this means they communicate, operate, and pass information along orally, without writing down their thoughts, ideas, and/or histories. 

As part of the western world, Americans often forget that literacy is not exclusive to English. Literacy refers generally to the ability to read and write a language, not the ability to read and write in English. So this year, together with the celebration of this year’s International Literacy Day, one September 8, people around the world will celebrate and bring awareness to what Multilingualism is and how it operates in different countries, all the while seeking to educate and remind the world that literacy is a global issue, not an English issue. 

For more information on International Literacy Day, visit the United Nations website found here.

____________________________________________________

(1) “International Literacy Day,” UNESCO. https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday.

(2) Figures courtesy of UNESCO Institute for Statistics, “Fact Sheet No. 45”, Sept 2017. 

Read full story · Comments are closed

International Studies Research Lab 2019

Friday August 2nd marked the end of the 2019 International Studies Research Lab! 

Sponsored by the Center for Global Studies here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the ISRL promotes the internationalization of education by providing a unique opportunity for community colleges nationwide. The ISRL was created as a joint initiative with support from the Center for Global Studies (CGS), the International and Area Studies Library (IASL), the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC), the European Union Center (EUC), and the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS). An annual event, the ISRL brings together faculty, librarians, and administrators from community colleges around the U.S. interested in developing global studies curricula and instruction in less commonly taught languages, expanding library collections, or establishing international education programs at their home institutions. We prioritize projects for minority-serving institutions, as we identify these institutions specifically to be in need of global and international resources and support.

The International and Area Studies Library (IASL) serves as the home base for ISRL participants, as it offers extensive services that facilitate access to a wide range of materials relating to globalization, language, and global and regional studies. While on campus, our participants receive courtesy borrowing privileges for our entire library collection, not only those materials found at the IASL, and also have the opportunity to set up individual consultation sessions with the Global Studies Librarian and/or other international reference specialists. These specialists provide individualized support and guidance on developing and evolving curricula, library collections, and international education programs. 

With the acknowledgment of the University as a National Resources Center, together with the recognition of the University’s exemplar, extensive, diverse, and ever-growing library collections, the ISRL attracts self-motivated scholars from community colleges who, without the help of ISRL, may not have the resources and/or support to create materials with a global or international focus. While many participants choose to diversify their collections, curricula, and language and education programs in relation to one specific country or region, many choose to cultivate a more generalized global perspective. But regardless of approach, all participants develop materials that interact with international, intercultural, and global dimensions. 

Near the end of the lab, participants are invited to a collaborative workshop where they can present and discuss their projects and network with their peers. Participants are invited to share their work and establish collaborations in a day-long workshop. Individuals specializing in community college engagement are guest speakers every year, offering to participants insight into the process of internationalizing curriculum, programs, and library collections in their community college environments. This year’s workshop took place on Friday July 26th and showcased several guest speakers including Dr. Timothy Wedig, Associate Director, LAS Global Studies (UIUC), and keynote speaker Sashti (Raj) Rajgopal, Founding Director of the International Studies Consortium of Georgia. 

Participants’ final projects are deposited into the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS) at the University of Illinois. IDEALS collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students. Topics deposited from the ISRL are very diverse in nature and originate with many different perspectives and disciplines in mind. Some of the topics and themes from the 2019 ISRL include research on the conflict in Palestine, Iranian history from 1906 to the Abdication of Reza Khan, the past and future of the Turkish-American Alliance, developing global studies certificates, and local immigration activism. Past materials that have been added to the ISRL web resources site in IDEALS have been downloaded for use over 6,000 times, with the top three most-downloaded entries relating to developing themes on global studies in English classes, cross-cultural psychology, and writing about Chinese culture. The ISRL strongly encourages and values the depositing of lab materials into IDEALS so that individuals around the world can have open access to, and freedom to download, resources relating to the internationalization of education.

We wanted to take this moment to thank all of our participants for this year’s International Studies Research Lab, and look forward to more individuals taking part next summer!

For more information on the ISRL, you can visit here. However, please keep in mind that the current showcased information is for this year’s lab. New information will be made available on our website as plans progress for next year’s lab.

Read full story · Comments are closed