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“IMMIGRATION” Series Speaker: Janna Shadduck-Hernandez

Feb 24 @ 12:15 pm-1:45 pm

Few care more than students, parents, custodial grandparents, and guardians about public education. When asked what the biggest priority for their union should be, members of SEIU-USWW- (service workers –janitors and security officers), UNITE HERE Local 11 (hotel and restaurant workers), SEIU 721 (county workers), ULTCW (homecare workers) SEIU Local 99 and CSEA (public school classified employees) overwhelmingly felt it should be education reform. Through various research initiatives conducted with UCLA students from Janna Shadduck-Hernandez’s classes in collaboration with Aida Cardenas, executive director of the Building Skills Partnership, education reform was seen as an even more important quality of life issue for low-wage working parents than immigration reform or access to affordable housing.  By mapping the various unions’ membership lists against the geography of LAUSD schools, we found that low-wage union members in LA live in areas served by the schools with the fewest learning opportunities.  As a result, service sector unions have begun to play a role in engaging in equity-minded school reform in Los Angeles. SEIU-USWW, for example, represents about 8,000 janitors and other low-wage service-sector workers in Los Angeles County. Our research with the janitors has shown that approximately two-thirds of the members have children in the public schools.  Union members in their roles as parents are by far the largest potential parent organization in Southern California.  The UCLA Center for Labor Education and Research, UCLA Institute for  Democracy, Education and Access and the UCLA Program in Public Interest Law and Policy have partnered with non-profit organizations like the Building Skills Partnership  to strategize and better understand the critical educational issues facing working families’ children.  Aida and Janna will discuss the following themes in their talk: The development of a Los Angles Labor and Education Collaborative– partners include 8 Los Angeles labor unions (SEIU-USWW & Building Skills Partnership, SEIU Local 99, SEIU 721, SEIU-ULTCW, Unite HERE Local 11,  SEIU-SOULA, CSEA, & UTLA) and 2 community-based organization (Community Coalition and Inner City Struggle) to build  parent-worker power for public education reform.The creation of a Labor/Management non-profit organization, Building Skills Partnership (BSP) that offers interactive and participatory educational programs to janitors at the workplace and in their union. Many of the classes sponsored by BSP focus on how parent-workers and their school learners can access path ways to college, apprenticeship programs that lead to middle-class jobs, and civic engagement opportunities so parents and students can become active in  shifting the realities in their local schools and communities.The process of conducting research that is useful for educating and mobilizing parents, unions, and community-based organizations to become involved in improving the conditions of their children’s schools and address recent California budget cuts.About JANNAJanna Shadduck-Hernández’s interests lie in the intersections between labor, immigration, student and community activism, and the arts. Presently she is a project director at the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education. She is also a lecturer teaching in UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures, César E. Chávez Chicano/a Studies Department, and the Labor and Workplace Studies Minor. She teaches Arts in Community; Labor, Social Justice, and the Arts; Immigration and the Visual Arts; Taking Action: Art and Community Change; Field Research Methods in Labor and Workplace Studies; Immigration, Labor and Higher Education; Social Movements and Labor in Los Angeles; along with other special topics courses. For the UCLA Labor and Workplace Studies Minor course, Immigrant Rights, Labor and Higher Education, she co-edited the first student-authored publication about the experiences of undocumented students in higher education, Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Students Speak Out (2008).Janna received her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Education within the Center of International Education in 2005. Her dissertation, Here I am Now! Community Service-Learning with Immigrant and Refugee Undergraduate Students and Youth: The Use of Critical Pedagogy, Situated Learning and Funds of Knowledge, examines the experiences of  immigrant and refugee undergraduate students involved in a community service-learning program that incorporated critical and culturally relevant curriculum, peer-learning approaches, and creative and artistic exploration as ways to develop alternative educational models across similar ethnocultural communities. She has published various articles on the subject including articles in Labor Studies and Ethnography and Education.Janna has also been the co-director for the UCLA Global Learning Institute Summer Session in Guanajuato, Mexico (2006, 2007, 2008) through the UCLA International Institute-Global Studies (IDP). In partnership with the Universidad de Guanajuato, she teaches a qualitative research seminar titled Globalization in Context: Research Seminar GS110A and coordinates all programmatic aspects of this five-week summer session with 20-25 UCLA students in Mexico.About AIDAAida graduated from UCLA and brings over 12 years of experience coordinating and directing educational and leadership development programs as well as organizing campaigns with janitors and other low-wage service workers.  Aida’s leadership was crucial in bringing together representatives from several organizations and industry representatives, such as employers and building owners, which led to the expansion and creation of the statewide BSP.This presentation is a part of a year-long speaker series sponsored by the Department of Social Welfare, Speaker Series: Contemporary Perspectives on ImmigrationLight lunch will be provided, reservations are required:rsvp@publicaffairs.ucla.edu or (310) 206-8034


Feb 24
12:15 pm-1:45 pm
Event Category:


TBA Public Affairs Building
337 Charles E Young Dr East
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States