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Running from Peril, Chasing Hope: Central American Children and the Refugee Crisis



December 3

Ford Alumni Center · University of Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

2:00-8:00 p.m.

Please contact us for more information.



2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Plenary Session featuring local experts and faculty members who will lead a discussion of the complex issues surrounding immigration policy and its impact on children and families

4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

Featured Speakers: Julie Lopez, journalist from Guatemala and Jennifer Podkul, senior program officer for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program, part of the Women’s Refugee Commission.

6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Call to Community Action tabling and reception (refreshments served)


Featured Speakers

Julie López is a freelance journalist based in Guatemala, where she reports on politics and security issues. Her work has been published widely, including in ReVista: The Harvard Review of Latin America, and The Miami Herald. In May 2010, López won the Félix Varela National Award for Excellence in American Journalism on Latino Issues—in the print category—for her series "The Narco Empire," published in El Diario/La Prensa in 2009. She has an M.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Journalism, and has taught journalism and coverage of international issues at graduate and undergraduate levels in the United States. During this fellowship she examined the Lorenzanas’ drug and arms trafficking networks between the U.S. and Guatemala to discover other locations for arms and drugs smuggling in the U.S.

Jennifer Podkul, senior program officer for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program, advocates for the protection of women, children and families seeking asylum in the United States. Prior to joining the Women’s Refugee Commission, Jennifer worked as an immigration attorney representing both detained and nondetained immigrants before the U.S. government along the US/Mexico border and in the Washington, D.C. area. She spent four years working at AYUDA providing legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children first as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, then as a KIND Fellow. While at Ayuda she created and managed the first project designed to provide legal representation to trafficked children, and advocated for policies designed to protect vulnerable immigrant populations. She has published articles and handbooks on issues related to immigration policies in the United States, and engaged international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States on human rights standards for vulnerable migrants.