Law enforcement and the indigenous communities will be the topic of the next Conversations on Race and Policing, an ongoing discussion by the Cal State San Bernardino community, set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, on Zoom.
"Policing of Indigenous Communities" can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at https://csusb.zoom.us/j/97960458784. This will be the 16th event in the series that began in June.
The panel of activists and community-based scholars will discuss issues ranging from the Los Angeles Police Department, access to translators for indigenous people, the way race shapes the American justice system, the policing of indigenous people across the border and other topics.
The panelists will be:
- Odilia Romero, co-founder/ executive director of Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO). She is also an independent interpreter of Zapotec, Spanish and English for indigenous communities in Los Angeles and throughout California. Romero has more than a decade of experience organizing indigenous migrant communities. She is currently the first woman to be the bi-national coordinator for the Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales, an immigrant and human rights organization of Mexican indigenous groups. Her organizing knowledge and experience are held in high regard, with multiple academic publications, awards, and lectures at universities across the United States, including John Hopkins, USC and UCLA. Romero has written on the challenges of organizing in indigenous communities, developing women’s leadership, and preparing a new generation of youth. Her work has also been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and Democracy Now.
- Stan Rodriguez, activist and tribal councilmember for the Santa Ysabel Band of the Iipay Nation in San Diego County. Rodriguez, a Desert Storm veteran, has witnessed many marginalized communities struggle to have their voice heard. He focuses on equity and social justice by remaining active in a number of community institutions such as Kumeyaay Community College, where he teaches the making of traditional Kumeyaay tools, the gathering and preparation of native foods and works closely with Kumeyaay groups in both the United States and in Mexico. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership through a joint program between UC San Diego and Cal State San Marcos. His academic focus centers on language loss and revitalization. Rodriguez has worked in education for more than 25 years, teaching at Cuyamaca Community College, Kumeyaay Community College, Cal State San Marcos, the University of Arizona, Tucson, the Department of Defense and various reservations in San Diego County, as well as invited to give guest lectures throughout the U.S. and internationally.
- Daisy Ocampo, assistant professor of history at CSUSB. Ocampo is from the Caz'Ahmo Nation (Caxcan in Spanish). Her academic research centers Indigenous voices in public history institutions such as museums, preservation of sacred sites and community-based archives. Ocampo was interviewed for the UC Riverside podcast “DReport” in July to discuss the removal of confederate and Spanish colonial monuments. Recent protests over racial injustice have included calls to remove such monuments from prominent public spaces, such as parks and government buildings. This will be Ocampo’s third panel in the Race and Policing series. She participated on the panel for the third conversation on June 17 that included Robin D.G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA, and participated in the Aug. 12 conversation that focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this summer that prevented the Trump administration from immediately ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The ongoing Conversations on Race and Policing series is hosted by CSUSB students Marlo Brooks and Yvette Relles-Powell.
The series is organized by CSUSB faculty members Marc Robinson (history), Mary Texeira (sociology) and Jeremy Murray (history), and Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the CSUSB John M. Pfau Library.
Conversations on Race and Policing began in the aftermath of the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis, Minn., police officers. A video of the incident posted on social media has led to widespread protests, the firing of four police officers, the arrest of one officer on a second-degree murder charge, the other three on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder – and a spotlight worldwide on race and policing.
Previous forums also are posted online (more recordings will soon be available for viewing) on the CSUSB History Club Lecture Series YouTube channel:
- “Race and Policing, A Panel Presentation and CSUSB Campus Conversation” on June 3;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (2), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion” on June 10;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (3), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion” on June 17;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (4), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion” on June 24;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (5), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion” on July 1;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (6), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion” on July 8;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (7), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion,” on July 15;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (8), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion,” on July 22;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (9), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion,” on July 29;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (10), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion,” on Aug. 5, which discusses in detail what “defunding” and “abolishing” police mean, beyond the political rhetoric, with Alex S. Vitale, author and professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, coordinator of the college’s Policing and Social Justice Project, and author of “The End of Policing; ”
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (11), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion,” on Aug. 12;
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (12), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion,” on Aug. 19, and
- “Conversations on Race and Policing (13), CSUSB Panel Presentation and Discussion,” on Aug. 26.
On June 16 the College of Arts and Letters presented “Structural Racism, Civil Disobedience, and the Road to Racial Justice in the Age of COVID-19,” which is also posted on YouTube.
The university’s June 9 memorial for Floyd also focused on the Black Lives Matter movement.
And, related to the university’s conversations series, Netflix is making the 2016 Ava DuVernay film, “13th,” available for free on its YouTube channel. Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.