Labor Activist and MacArthur Fellow Baldemar Velásquez to Deliver Human Rights Lecture

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Event Poster

Media Contact:
Professor William Armaline, william.armaline@sjsu.edu

We are elated to announce the Fall 2016 Human Rights Lecture Event, Economic Human Rights and the Dignity of Working People, on Oct. 27 and 28 at San José State University. Please visit our site for registration and tickets.

This year’s event is a collaborative effort, led by the SJSU Human Rights Program and MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, the California Association of Human Relations Organizations [CAHRO], the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission [SCC HRC], and SCC Office of Human Relations [SCC OHR]. Students, educators, activists, public officials, community members, and human relations commissioners from across California are invited to the SJSU main campus for two days of talks, workshops, and organizing activities on economic human rights, discrimination, and effective practices for realizing human rights in the workplace and our communities at-large.

DAY 1 (Thur., Oct. 27) features the Annual Human Rights Keynote Lecture by Farm Labor Organizing Committee [FLOC] President, MacArthur Fellow, AFL-CIO Executive Council member, and internationally recognized organizer Baldemar Velásquez. The keynote talk will be held at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) in Morris Dailey Auditorium, and is open to all with a free ticket.

DAY 2 (Fri., Oct. 28) features the CAHRO Bi-Annual Human Relations Conference, including workshops, plenary talks, and lunch keynote presentation by the Kirwan Institute’s Robin Wright (The Ohio State University), a nationally recognized researcher and expert on how to address implicit bias in the public sector. Multiple ticketing options are available for students, faculty, community members, and CAHRO members for Day 2 plenaries and workshops.

For event updates and coverage, follow us on Twitter. Join the conversation using our hashtag, #EconHumanRights2016.

We hope you can join us for what will be an informative and inspiring conference on economic human rights in California!


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program

Five Reasons to be a Proud Spartan

Five engineering students experienced 15 minutes of zero gravity flight in Houston this summer. The SJSU team’s research proposal, selected by NASA from more than 60 proposals, gave the students the opportunity to design, build, fly and test their experiments aboard an aircraft dubbed the “Weightless Wonder.” And the experience? “Phenomenal, exhilarating, amazing!” students report.

Paul Clerkin

Willing to travel thousands of miles out to sea, graduate student Paul Clerkin discovered eight shark species (Save Our Seas Foundation image).

Featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”: a new species of shark and the Moss Landing Marine Labs master’s degree candidate Paul Clerkin who discovered the animal during a research trip to the Indian Ocean. Included in the program are glimpses of the as-yet-named shark, the size of a watermelon with purple fins and a “venomous, barbed spine.”

How many inspire a Hollywood film? Bob Ladouceur, ’77 Criminal Justice, former head football coach at De La Salle High School, has spent the last several months walking red carpets, being interviewed by “Entertainment Tonight” and attending premieres of When the Game Stands Tall, a film about Coach Ladouceur and De La Salle’s historic 151-game winning streak. Actor Jim Caviezel portrays Ladouceur in the film. 

To become a performer, the late comic genius Robin Williams had to overcome a crippling case of shyness. First step: joining his high school drama club. For his 1997 film Flubber, Williams came to San Jose. Sharp-eyed Spartans will recognize several city and campus locations that made the film’s final cut.

Spartan football alums David Quessenberry (Houston Texans), ’12 History, and James Jones (Oakland Raiders) aren’t acquainted with the word “quit.” Jones, a sociology major who recently returned to the San Jose homeless shelter where he and his mother lived for several months, shared the story of his own escape from poverty with residents. “You’re here, but this isn’t the end,” he assured them. Battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the 6-foot-five, 307-pound Quessenberry is inspired by the support of teammates and fans. “I wake up every day knowing that I have an army behind me,” he said. “It motivates me to fight even harder.”

 

 

San Jose Mercury News: SJSU Program Gives Reformed Criminals a Second Chance

Posted May 22, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Mark Gomez

SAN JOSE — Armando Aguilar was tired of living in the shadow of his rap sheet.

Six years removed from his last conviction — for second-degree commercial burglary, under influence of meth and possession of a stolen check — and after he cleaned up his life, Aguilar graduated from San Jose City College in 2009 with a state certification to work as an alcohol and drug counselor. He soon found a job working with adults.

But when he applied for a job counseling youth, his criminal history killed his chances.

Soon after that, Aguilar heard about a free program at San Jose State that helps people who have turned their lives around remove certain misdemeanor and felony convictions from the public record. With the help of SJSU justice studies students, Aguilar’s criminal history was wiped clean by a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge.

“The fact I got everything expunged was a relief for me,” said Aguilar, 38, who was hired in October to work with at-risk youth in the East Bay and has informed his employer about his past. “I was able to close a chapter on that part of my life.”

Read the full story.

Students meeting with a client.

Study Shows Net Benefits of Record Clearance

Students speaking with an RCP client.

At speed screening sessions led by RCP students, clients bring their rap sheets and documentation to demonstrate that they are taking steps to make responsible choices (David Schmitz photo).

Media Contacts:
Margaret (Peggy) Stevenson, margaret.stevenson@sjsu.edu, (650) 248-7067
Mary Sprague, msprague@stanford.edu, (650) 723-0539

A new study out of Stanford University demonstrates that criminal record clearance—or “expungement”—offers substantial benefits.  Five students in the Stanford Public Policy Program conducted the study for the San Jose State University Record Clearance Project (RCP).  Working under Stanford faculty supervision, the students analyzed new survey data on people with criminal histories and conducted interviews with legal experts and criminal justice system stakeholders.

At 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. on March 14, the Stanford team will present the results of their study at San Jose State University, Engineering Room 285/87. Former RCP clients and SJSU RCP students will be present for interviews.  The Stanford team will answer questions.

According to the study, an expunged record makes it easier for people with criminal histories to find employment.  Increased employment in turn benefits the government through increasing tax revenues and decreasing public assistance payments.  Most benefits of expungement accumulate over time while expungement processing costs and court costs do not.  The person with a record, his/her family, the government, and the public at large all benefit from record clearance.

Based on the high net benefits of expungement, the group recommends that the government take action to increase the number of records cleared.  Under California law, people can apply for expungement of convictions after completing probation and/or a jail sentence (prison sentences are ineligible for expungement).  However, many people do not pursue expungement due to lack of awareness and/or resources. The Stanford study will present the results of the cost-benefit analysis and address the advantages to the public of increased record expungement.

The report will be available on Monday from the Stanford Public Policy Program.

SJSU Receives $250,000 from Keck Foundation

Keck Foundation Provides $250,000 for Science Lab Class Innovations

Professor Joseph Pesek has helped nearly 100 graduate students complete their theses, mentored 60 undergraduate research students in his lab, and he’s not done yet (photo courtesy of Professor Pesek).

The W. M. Keck Foundation has made a $250,000 gift to San Jose State to develop laboratory exercises more similar to what students will find in the workplace while introducing new technology into the curriculum.

Professor of Analytical Chemistry Joseph Pesek will serve as principal investigator, working with Professor of Material and Chemical Engineering Claire Komives, Professor of Biological Sciences Brandon White and Professor of Justice Studies Steven Lee.

Faculty and student researchers will develop applications for aqueous normal-phase chromatography, a method for analyzing samples developed at San Jose State. Protocols for these applications will become the basis for lab exercises, to be tested as classwork for SJSU students.

Keck Foundation Provides $250,000 for Science Lab Class Innovations

Professor Joseph Pesek

In this way, the project will provide undergraduate research opportunities and benefit the next generation of college students.

This aligns well with Professor Pesek’s record of service, including more than four decades of teaching and mentoring experience, almost entirely at San Jose State.

The professor has helped nearly 100 graduate students complete their theses, mentored 60 undergraduate research students in his lab, and he’s not done yet.

“If we are successful,” Pesek said, “our work could touch hundreds if not thousands of lab science students, depending on how many institutions adopt the new protocols for use in their teaching laboratories.”

The W.M. Keck Foundation supports pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research.

In the area of education, the foundation supports undergraduate programs that promote inventive approaches to instruction and effective involvement of students in research.

Assistant Professor Receives Guggenheim

Assistant Professor Receives Guggenheim

Assistant Professor Receives Guggenheim

Assistant Professor Danielle Harris

Assistant Professor of Justice Studies Danielle Harris has received a $36,000 research grant from The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation for a project exploring desistance from sexual offending (meaning no longer committing sexual offenses) in a sample of 100 men released from custody through a Massachusetts program from 1974 through 1991.

“Professor Harris’ work … is a powerful example of the important research being conducted in the justice studies department at SJSU; research that not only moves forward theory and practice, but that also has real relevance to marginalized communities and that helps in our collective efforts to achieve social justice through scholarship,” according to the CASA Blog.

In addition to her research, Harris is actively involved in the SJSU Record Clearance Project. Her research interests include many aspects of sexual offending: specialization and versatility; the criminal career paradigm; desistance; female sexual offending; and related public policy. She is the director of research for the Art of Yoga Project, a nonprofit organization that provides a yoga and creative arts curriculum to girls in custody. Learn more from the CASA Blog.

"Little Princes" Author Visits Campus

“Little Princes” Author Visits Campus

"Little Princes" Author Visits Campus

Conor Grennan, author of the Campus Reading Program selection for fall 2012.

Conor Grennan, author of the Campus Reading Program selection for fall 2012, will speak and sign books beginning at 4 p.m. Oct. 25, in the Student Union’s Loma Prieta Room. This event is free and open to the public.

“Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal” tells Grennan’s story. About to turn 30 years old, he embarked on a trip around the world, starting with volunteering at the Little Princes Orphanage in war-torn Nepal.

What was supposed to be a three-month stint became much more when he learned many of the little princes were stolen from their homes by human traffickers. Grennan ended up dedicating his life to reuniting these children with their families.

He continues to travel regularly to Nepal, and he will share news from his latest trip at the SJSU event. Upcoming Campus Reading Program events include a dialogue on “Human Trafficking: A Global Concern” with Lecturer of Justice Studies Noam Perry and Assistant Professor of Health Science Miranda Worthen 3 p.m. Nov 20 in King 255/257.

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

Join SJSU on Pinterest!

SJSU is now on Pinterest, a visual bookmarking website for bringing together online themes. Users collect and combine their own themes by “repining” items onto their boards, creating their own virtual spaces.

This week, SJSU launched its official presence on Pinterest, a visual bookmarking website for bringing together online themes. Users collect and combine their own themes by “repining” items onto their boards, create their own virtual spaces.

We’ve posted 18 boards including Sammy Spartan, Helping and Caring, and Bright Ideas, side by side with our top hits, South Bay Eats and Dorm Décor. So far we have received great responses, not to mention 48 followers. up from 13 followers since our launch Oct. 8.

We carefully crafted pins that we think represent SJSU and Spartan culture. The use of Pinterest allows us to bring awareness to our campus and show off our community.

We are also supporting our fellow SJSU pinners who have joined the Pinterest community, including our friends at the College of Applied Arts and Sciences, Department of Justice Studies, Department of Kinesiology, Don and Sally Lucas Graduate School of Business, SJSU Special Collections and Archives, SJSU Career Center and King Library,

Michael Brito’s MCOM 139 Social Business class is a good way to see how Pinterest can be used as a medium for the classroom.

Stay tuned for opportunities to add your own flavor to SJSU culture with upcoming community boards.

We hope you’ll visit and repin us.

Visit us at pinterest.com/sjsu/.

 

Campus Reading Program Fall Events Focus on Nepal

Campus Reading Program Fall Events Focus on Nepal

The author will discuss his most recent trip to Nepal 4 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Student Union.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

The first in a series of special events highlighting the Campus Reading Program fall 2012 selection, Conor Grennan’s “Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal,” begins this week. Associate Professor of Geography Kate Davis will give a lecture, “Getting to Know About Nepal,” 3:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in King 225/229.  “Little Princes” is an engaging, true story of the author’s discovery of child trafficking in Nepal and what he did to address the problem.

In addition to a series of book discussions, events include SJSU Nepal Day Sept. 19, when Motherland Nepal, Associated Students and the SJSU Salzburg Program present a celebration of arts, music, dance and cuisine; a dialogue on “Unpacking Privilege: A Critical Inquiry of Little Princes” 3 p.m. Oct. 2 at MOSAIC; the author discussing his most recent trip to Nepal 4 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Student Union; and a dialogue on “Human Trafficking: A Global Concern” by Justice Studies Lecturer Noam Perry and Assistant Professor of Health Science Miranda Worthen 3 p.m. Nov 20 in King 255/257.

Get more information on the Campus Reading Program.

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU’s First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

A camper studies fingerprints uncovered with magnetic powder (Department of Justice Studies photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Sixteen middle and high school students, ages 13 to 17, got a chance to uncover the secrets of a crime scene at SJSU’s first-ever Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Camp, offered by SJSU’s Department of Justice Studies July 9-13.

“The goal is to inspire students into careers where they are helping to solve crimes,” said Steven Lee, the camp’s director and a professor of justice studies.

Wearing crime scene “do not enter” tape as sashes, campers worked in teams of four to look at evidential material used during a crime scene investigation. Each team carefully observed, collected and interpreted fingerprints, bloodstain patterns and DNA, applying tools they learned in forensic science, criminology, neurology and forensic anthropology workshops.

“Everyday I see them, I get a chance to see the light inside them that ignites on how they really like forensic science,” said lead camp counselor Phillip Nhan, ’11 Justice Studies.

The CSI camp was held simultaneously with the AAFS Forensic Science Educators Conference, which seeks to raise and strengthen overall science education in the United States. Last year, SJSU was the first West Coast university to sponsor the teacher conference.

Working With Real-Life Crime Scene Investigators

According to Lee, the collaboration brings students the latest information, allows them the opportunity to work with real-life crime scene investigators and forensic scientists in the field, and dispels fallacies on how crime scenes are being portrayed on television.

“Everything is so predictable on those shows,” said 17-year-old camper Matthew Shull, whose favorite part of camp was uncovering fingerprints with magnetic powder. “Everything always happens the right way and they always find the right evidence and the right person.”

According to Lee, this year’s camp will serve as a national model for future CSI camps. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences donated 10 scholarships to cover registration fees and supplies.

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

Young Special Agents Get Hands-On Experience at SJSU's First-Ever CSI Camp

A camper studies fingerprints uncovered with magnetic powder (Department of Justice Studies photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Sixteen middle and high school students, ages 13 to 17, got a chance to uncover the secrets of a crime scene at SJSU’s first-ever Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Camp, offered by SJSU’s Department of Justice Studies July 9-13.

“The goal is to inspire students into careers where they are helping to solve crimes,” said Steven Lee, the camp’s director and a professor of justice studies.

Wearing crime scene “do not enter” tape as sashes, campers worked in teams of four to look at evidential material used during a crime scene investigation. Each team carefully observed, collected and interpreted fingerprints, bloodstain patterns and DNA, applying tools they learned in forensic science, criminology, neurology and forensic anthropology workshops.

“Everyday I see them, I get a chance to see the light inside them that ignites on how they really like forensic science,” said lead camp counselor Phillip Nhan, ’11 Justice Studies.

The CSI camp was held simultaneously with the AAFS Forensic Science Educators Conference, which seeks to raise and strengthen overall science education in the United States. Last year, SJSU was the first West Coast university to sponsor the teacher conference.

Working With Real-Life Crime Scene Investigators

According to Lee, the collaboration brings students the latest information, allows them the opportunity to work with real-life crime scene investigators and forensic scientists in the field, and dispels fallacies on how crime scenes are being portrayed on television.

“Everything is so predictable on those shows,” said 17-year-old camper Matthew Shull, whose favorite part of camp was uncovering fingerprints with magnetic powder. “Everything always happens the right way and they always find the right evidence and the right person.”

According to Lee, this year’s camp will serve as a national model for future CSI camps. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences donated 10 scholarships to cover registration fees and supplies.

A close-up of a black graduation cap with the words "SJSU 2012" and a magenta heart. (Dillon Adams photo).

Justice Studies Convocation Celebrates Individuals

By Sarah Kyo, Web Communications Specialist

Graduates standing up and looking excited in Morris Dailey Auditorium (Dillon Adams photo).

Graduates get excited at the Justice Studies Convocation in Morris Dailey Auditorium (Dillon Adams photo).

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2012. We begin the series with the Department of Justice Studies. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

From the stage, Department Chair Mark Correia videotaped Justice Studies graduates as they entered Morris Dailey Auditorium on May 16 to the familiar sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Each graduate had a personalized moment when it was his or her turn to walk across the stage after being called by name. Master’s degree candidates were each hooded by his or her main adviser. Each undergraduate had the option of writing a brief message about his or her post-graduation plans or giving a shout out to loved ones, which were read aloud.

One of the faculty members who read graduates’ names was lecturer Janet Hagemann, who is retiring at the end of this semester. Hagemann, ’81 Criminal Justice Administration, received recognition from the U.S. Secret Service and the Justice Studies Department. Her honors and gifts included plaques, a bouquet of flowers, a lifetime university parking permit and a donation to the animal non-profit organization of her choice.

Hagemann and Correia both share a Scottish heritage. To everyone’s surprise, Correia removed his robe and walked away from the podium to reveal a traditional outfit, including a kilt. It inspired @mewissa’s tweet, “BEST CONVOCATION EVER.”

The festivities were just getting started as the upbeat song “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO ushered in the next stage of the graduates’ lives.

White bird on blue background.

Justice Studies to Incorporate Social Media Into Curriculum

Ever wonder what it would be like to tweet your answers in class instead of raising your hand? Justice Studies students will soon find out.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Ever wonder what it would be like to tweet your answers in class instead of raising your hand?

This multilayered interaction between professor and student is just one way Department of Justice Studies Chair Mark Correia hopes to integrate social media into his department next semester.

“SJSU has the luxury of being in the middle of Silicon Valley, however, if you browse our websites, we are far behind in terms of the use of social media,” Correia said. “One of our goals is to really upgrade the face of the department and the experiences students have.”

In the fall, Justice Studies 100W classes and senior seminars will integrate social media and wiki (a website whose users can add, modify, or delete content using a web browser) into their curriculum. In addition, students will be asked to write blog entries and tweet as part of their coursework.

Making a Difference

“The students who graduate with these skill sets are going to be in better position to make a difference in society,” Correia said.

Associate Professor of Social Justice and Vice Chair Alessandro De Giorgi plans to use social media to engage his students in current social issues.

“We generally discuss socially relevant issues on prison, racial inequalities, and economic inequalities,” De Giorgi said. “It makes sense for students to express themselves in a way that is not mainstream, but nonetheless scholarly and critical.”

According to Correia, using social media will also give faculty the opportunity to share information and research without peer-review restrictions, as well as build stronger connections within the local and broader communities.

Bridging Theory and Practice

Senior justice studies and political science major Tyson Peltz believes social media has great potential for the classroom.

“This level of interaction and problem solving is paramount to bridging the gap between theory and practicality within the real word,” Peltz said.

Justice Studies Professor Explores Pathways Out of Crime

Justice Studies Professor Explores Pathways Out of Crime

Volunteers are sitting with clients at tables and going over paperwork

Volunteers work with eligible people to expunge their criminal record through the Record Clearance Project (Justice Studies photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

For some, having the stigma of a criminal record can be extremely debilitating, preventing even the most qualified candidate from getting a job or a loan.

Department of Justice Studies Assistant Professor Danielle Harris does research on the criminological perspective of desistance, a term describing a decrease or end to committing crime.

“There are control theories on why people offend early and continue and start to offend later in life, but nobody has looked at people that have offended and then stopped,” Harris said.

Harris studies changes in such behavior over the course of life, particularly the pathways out of crime.

Last year, she presented preliminary findings at the American Society of Criminology conference in Washington, D.C. Subsequent data will be presented at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences conference in New York City March 13-17.

“The main thing that is coming out of the research so far is that we are capturing people that have left this life behind them,” Harris said. “Yet they still have the stigma of a criminal record even though in their identity they are really no longer that person.”

According to Harris, some of the leading factors that take people away from crime include parenthood, employment, an end to drug and alcohol abuse, and personal agency and cognitive transformations where “people just wake up one morning and say, “I don’t want to go to be in prison any more.’”

Six interviewees came from SJSU’s Record Clearance Project, which works with Santa Clara County in expunging records of people who have overcome past transgressions. As a volunteer for the program, Harris helps prepare clients for their hearing by holding a “moot court” in an actual courtroom at Santa Clara University’s law school. According to Harris, the success rate of the program is high. Out of 300 clients, 280 clients’ records have been expunged.

Harris hopes her research will convey the importance of self-sufficiency and inform public policy.

“There is an assumption that once you offend, you will be a chronic long-term offender, Harris said.  “A lot of the policies in place don’t influence desistance in any useful way. None of the things that we are doing now are working.”

Justice Studies Professor Explores Pathways Out of Crime

Record Clearance Project Prepares Student for Law School

Javier de la Torre assists a client at the McKinley Neighborhood Center Speed Screening

Javier de la Torre assists a client at the McKinley Neighborhood Center (Justice Studies photo).

By Javier de la Torre

(Editor’s Note: The following story is an except from the winter 2011 issue of “Advance: News from the San Jose State University Record Clearance Project (PDF).” The project engages undergraduates in assisting eligible people to clear their criminal records.)

I began working with the Record Clearance Project (RCP) almost a year ago, and through this work have developed a whole new view about law and justice. The RCP and my studies at SJSU have ignited in me the desire to go to law school to become an attorney for at-risk youth.

In 1987 I arrived in San José as a young child, coming with my family from Mexico in search of a better life. Growing up, I never thought about going to law school. In fact, I found it extremely difficult to assimilate during my first years in the US.

However, I graduated from Oak Grove High School here and attended West Valley Community College, receiving an AA degree before starting at SJSU in the fall of 2009.

While I had been thinking of working as a police officer, sheriff or CHP officer, once I came to SJSU, I became more interested in learning about why crimes are committed and how to help the individuals involved. I began to see myself working with people who needed help rather than enforcing the law.

There are no lawyers in my family, and the Record Clearance Project gave me valuable field experience in the law. I really enjoyed working with my ten clients, and have seen firsthand that not only is knowing the law required, but communication and interviewing skills are necessary as well. My goal is to communicate in a professional and gentle way so that each person feels comfortable; being courteous and professional has guided me through many interviews with clients from different backgrounds.

I have enjoyed being able to share this wonderful project with the public by doing presentations and interview sessions in the community. At a Speed Screening at the McKinley Neighborhood Center, my interview partner was unable to attend, so I interviewed clients by myself. The one-on-one consultation made the experience feel as if I was a real lawyer. I was glad to return to the McKinley Center where previously I had done a community presentation, this time to help interested clients individually.

Becoming an attorney is a new path for me. For the last eight years I have worked at a sheet metal company, being promoted from the production floor to supervisor to production control. I paid all my expenses to put myself through college, and have helped my mother with her expenses as well. I have worked full-time, sometimes 50 hours a week.

In Spring 2012 I will graduate from SJSU, the first in my family to graduate from an accredited college. Being in the top 15 percent of my class, I am a member of the campus chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

At this point in my career, close to graduation, I understand that choosing to pursue a law degree will take a tremendous amount of work and exceeding dedication. Through the RCP, I’ve met law students, as well as lawyers and judges. If accepted in law school, I believe I can make the right choices needed in my life and do the work required to emerge as a successful law graduate. I look forward to practicing law and continuing to help others.

author Tony Platt

Ann Lucas Lecture Series in Law & Justice: Tony Platt

"Grave Matters" book cover

Beginning his journey at his son’s funeral near a once bustling center for Native Americans, author Tony Platt seeks to learn: How do we reconcile a place of extraordinary beauty with its horrific past?

Date: October 12 , 2011

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Engineering 189

Description: Whether by curious Boy Scouts and “backyard archaeologists” or competitive collectors and knowledge-hungry anthropologists, the excavation of native remains is a time-honored practice fraught with injustice and simmering resentments. “Grave Matters” is the history of the treatment of native remains in California and the story of the complicated relationship between researcher and researched. Tony Platt begins his journey with his son’s funeral at Big Lagoon, a seaside village in pastoral Humboldt County in Northern California, once O-pyúweg, a bustling center for the Yurok and the site of a plundered native cemetery. Platt travels the globe in search of the answer to the question: How do we reconcile a place of extraordinary beauty with its horrific past? “Grave Matters” centers around the Yurok people and the eventual movement to repatriate remains and reclaim ancient rights, but it is also a universal story of coming to terms with the painful legacy of a sorrowful past.

Discussants
Libra Hilde, Department of History, San José State University
Alan Leventhal, Department of Anthropology, San José State University
Darren Modzelewski, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author
Tony Platt is the author of 10 books and more than 150 essays and articles on race, inequality, and social justice in American history, among them “Bloodlines: Recovering Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws,” “From Patton’s Trophy to Public Memorial,” and “The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency,” which was reissued as a 40th anniversary edition in 2009. Platt, now a professor emeritus, taught at the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Sacramento, where he received awards for teaching and scholarship. He has been a visiting professor at Chuo University, Tokyo, and at Queen’s University, Belfast, and was a visiting researcher at the Huntington Library and the National Museum of American History. Platt has written for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Truthdig.com, the History News Network, Z Magazine, Monthly Review, and the Guardian, and his commentaries have aired on NPR. His publications have been translated into four languages. Tony Platt lives in Berkeley and Big Lagoon, California.

About the Lecture Series
The Ann Lucas Lecture Series in Law and Justice was established in 2009 by the Justice Studies Department at San José State University to honor the memory of Dr. Ann Lucas (1962-2009). Before joining the Department in 2000, Ann Lucas earned her J.D. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Her internationally recognized research focused on issues of gender inequality, domestic violence, prostitution, and drugs.

— Submitted by Justice Studies Acting Chair Mark Correia