Ross Institute Sponsors Conference on Humanitarianism and Mass Migration

RI Conference Last week, Ross Institute cosponsored a workshop on Humanitarianism and Mass Migration in conjunction with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information (GSE&IS), the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. The two-day workshop brought together leading scientists, social scientists, humanists, religious leaders, policy makers, philanthropists, practitioners, and nongovernmental agencies to examine mass human migration as well as the demand for and role of humanitarian efforts in response to these movements.

“Never has your work been more needed,” said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti in a letter welcoming conference guests. “We have felt this impact here in Los Angeles, and we have responded. . . . Through our efforts nearly 70,000 individuals have been directly informed of their legal right to become citizens. . . . Today, the lives of over a billion people are shaped by mass migration.”

Ross School founder Courtney Sale Ross served as the event’s honorary chair, while two longtime Ross School mentors presented in the conference. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean at GSE&IS, served as workshop chair and led a presentation titled “Mass Migrations: The New 21st Century Map,” and Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán, deputy humanitarian training director at Fordham University, gave a talk about the global forced migration crisis and the education of children. Other speakers included Chair Monsenior H. E. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo; Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Pierre Lena of Académie des Sciences, Paris; Pedro Antonio Noguera, professor of education at UCLA; and Hirokazu Yoshikawa, professor of globalization and education at New York University. (A full list of participants and abstracts can be found at the workshop’s website.) A major scholarly volume, published jointly by Ross Institute, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and UC Press, is set for distribution at the end of this year.

In addition, Ross faculty are developing a curricular thread on human migration for Ross School’s Spiral Curriculum. As students progress through the curriculum, certain themes recur and are reinforced across both grade levels and domains. Highlighting these curricular threads places emphasis on important concepts.

“There are many places in the curriculum where we talk about the movement of peoples and its impact, from early human species over a million years ago, to transcontinental economic and cultural exchange in the classical period, to modern examples of migration of all types—forced, voluntary, economic, political, and environmental. We even see it captured on our campus in our diverse boarding population,” said Carrie Clark, Director of Academics. “We live in a very interconnected world, and learning about the global movements of the past and present helps students prepare for the challenges and benefits such movements will present in the future.”