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Guest lecture brings deportees' ‘bedtime stories’ to the UO

Cuentos para Dormir

The Department of Education Studies will welcome Sophia Sobko, an educator and activist, to campus on May 3 for a free lecture to bring awareness to the issue of family separation resulting from deportation policies. Her curated book series, Cuentos para Dormir (bedtime stories), comprises children’s books written by deported parents living in Tijuana, Mexico. The Department of Education Studies has acquired two sets of books in the series, making the UO the first university in the world to have them. A third set will be raffled to one lucky winner at the 3 p.m. lecture.

"We are honored and fortunate to have some of these deeply personal and thought-provoking books at the UO," said Edward Olivos, associate professor in education studies. "Issues related to immigration and deportation are germane to the department’s focus on equity, and I believe they’ll offer valuable insights for anyone who needs to be well-versed in these issues—educators in particular."

All books in the series are original works written by the parents for their children. They describe the firsthand experiences of deportation and family separation, as experienced by the parents. Some are written in Spanish, others in English. The parents are not professional writers, so the books are somewhat unconventional in their style and layout. Even so, the books are beautifully illustrated and tell very poignant stories of parents yearning to be reunited with their children.

Some of the authors will be live via Skype from Mexico to answer questions and read excerpts from their works. The public lecture will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 in 180 PLC. For more information, contact Edward Olivos.

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