Immigrant workers conference

Monday, April 5, 2010


"The Global Goes Local: The Social Conditions of Immigrant Workers and Families in Minnesota Conference" is April 12-13.

The interdisciplinary conference explores research from the local to the global level on the social conditions faced by immigrant workers in Minnesota.

The College of Social Sciences (COSS) Faculty Research Group on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota is sponsoring the conference with speakers and panels at various venues in Atwood Memorial Center.

The Group comprises, primarily, of College of Social Sciences faculty who collaborate with community-based organizations that serve or organize Minnesota’s immigrant workers and their families to develop data of use to the community and academics.

The eight panels and three speakers scheduled reflect the commitment to academic rigor, community engagement, and student participation in studying immigrant worker issues in the state of Minnesota. 

Speakers schedule for April 12-13 

April 12; Noon – Dr. Behzad Yaghmaian; Atwood Theatre; "Muslim Migrants’ Stories on the Journey West." Yaghmaian is a renowned author, whose book "Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journeys West" has won wide acclaim as a "Grapes of Wrath for the Muslim World." – Kirkus Reviews

April 13; 9 a.m. – Dr. Mary Wingerd; Cascade Room; "Historical Comparisons of Immigrant Workers’ Experiences in Minnesota: past and present." Wingerd is an associate professor of history at St. Cloud State and the author of "North Country: The Making of Minnesota" 

Noon – Dr. Katherine Fennelly; Cascade Room; "Challenges Facing Immigrant Workers in Minnesota Today." Fennelly is a professor at the UMN Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and speaks widely on issues of concern to immigrant communities in Minnesota

Panel schedule for April 12-13

April 12; 11 a.m. – "Impacts of Immigration on Global Communities: Reflections of social scientists" – Voyageurs North; Orn Bodvarsson (ECON), Sandrine Zerbib (SOC), and Monica Garcia Perez (ECON)

2 p.m. – "New Communities of Color Place in Small Towns and Rural Areas" – Voyageurs North; Chuks Ugochukwu (CMTY)

3 p.m.  – "Crossing Multiple Borders: Opportunities and challenges facing new immigrant women workers and entrepreneurs in Minnesota"

"New Immigrant Farmers in the Midwest: An exploration of the challenges and opportunities new immigrant women face" – Glacier Room; Ann Finan (SOC), Sandrine Zerbib (SOC)

"Spaces for Latina Immigrants via Entrepreneurship" – Glacier Room; Margaret Villanueva (CMTY)

April 13; 10 a.m. – "Latino and East African Maintenance Workers’ Battle for Health Care in the Twin Cities" [SEIU Local 26] – Granite Room

11 a.m. – Noon – Student Session   

"Findings from the Field on Latino and Somali Immigrant Workers in Minnesota" – Voyageurs North; Linda Gensheimer (SW), Discussant.

"Somali Immigrants and Christian Social Service Organizations in Central Minnesota: A discussion of identity negotiation in religion" – Voyageurs North; Neil Panchmatia (SR)

"Not Having Your Family There With You: The challenges that Somali women face in resettling and readjusting in Central Minnesota" – Voyageurs North; Pat Offerdahl (SW)

"The Challenges of Making Families for Latino Farmworkers in Stearns County" – Voyageurs North; Maria Greaves (SW)

2 p.m. – "Researching Labor Regimes for Latino Farm Workers in Stearns County" – Voyageurs North; Edward Greaves (POL) and Stephen Philion (SOC)

2 p.m. – "Businesses, Entrepreneurship, and Immigrant Workers"  – Glacier Room

"Hiring Patterns and Wages on Immigrant and Native-Owned Small Firms" – Glacier Room; Mónica García-Pérez (ECON)

"Contributions from Latino Professionals and Entrepreneurs in Central Minnesota"  – Glacier Room; Mónica Segura- Schwartz (Catholic Charities)

"Experiences of Cooperatives in Minnesota" – GlacierRoom; Mayuli Bales (Casa Guadalupe)

3 p.m. – "Incorporation of Somali Workers into Minnesota’s Labor Markets" – Voyageurs North; Ajay Panicker (SOC), Paul Greider (SOC) Isolde Mueller (FLL) and Abdi Mohamed (La Cruz Community Center)

The College of Social Sciences builds on a liberal arts foundation and an international perspective to offer applied and professional undergraduate and graduate programs. The various departments within the college include community studies, criminal justice, economics, ethnic studies, geography, history, political science, psychology, social work, and sociology and anthropology.

The COSS Research Group encourages and facilitates ongoing interdisciplinary research on immigrant workers’ experiences in Minnesota’s labor markets and their endeavors to achieve full citizenship in both Minnesota and the United States. The Group also provides courses and programs on immigration to undergraduate and graduate students while collaborating with immigrant organizations.

For more information, contact Stephen Philion, director, COSS Research Group on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota at 320.308.5497 or


<< Previous  |  Archive  |  Next >>

University Communications
St. Cloud State University