Fall 2021

The Undocumented Americans, by Karla CornejoThe Undocumented Americans
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

In this remarkable book— part memoir, part journalism, part creative non-fiction—Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, herself undocumented, opens our eyes to what is right in front of us, but which we have been unable to see clearly up until now. She brings us into the lives of her family and other undocumented people in the United States, focusing not on a model-minority, soft-focus Dreamer narrative, but on the complex, real lives of undocumented people, who entrusted her with their stories, perhaps in part because of her own honesty and vulnerability. The student reviewers for the On the Same Page program were blown away by this book, and you will be, too.

Student reviewers offered comments such as these:

“The stories are empathetic and such a valuable glimpse into the lives of undocumented people, who do essential work in America yet are vastly under-acknowledged.”

“THIS!!! This is it! I blew through this book SO fast and couldn’t put it down. I was immediately pulled in by Villavicencio’s narrative voice.”

“This was an extremely emotional book. It’s the kind of book that tugs at your heartstrings and leaves you feeling angry with how the world is but simultaneously amazed by the strength of character the interviewees have.”

“She talks about devastating circumstances, like undocumented Americans taking sanctuary in churches and communities in Flint raising children suffering from lead poisoning, without reducing people to their problems and afflictions.”

“This is one of the best books I’ve read all year, and I truly think every American should read it. I found myself immersed in the stories of undocumented people, and I was shocked at how much I didn’t know about what they have to endure. This is a book that I am going to remember and recommend to people for the rest of my life.”

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio has written about immigration, music, beauty, and mental illness for the New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Glamour, Elle, Vogue, n+1, and The New Inquiry, among others. She lives in New Haven with her partner and their dog.

Photo by Talya Zemach-Bersin

News and Resources

Goodreads Community: On the Same Page: The Undocumented Americans
This is a group where students, faculty and staff at UC Berkeley can discuss the 2021 On the Same Page selection: The Undocumented Americans, by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio.

UC Berkeley Library Research Guide on Migration and Immigration
Find information sources related to immigrants, refugees, and asylees, including definitions, books, articles, related exhibits, and more.

East Bay Sanctuary Covenant
EBSC provides legal services, community organizing, and transformative education to support low-income immigrants and people fleeing violence and persecution.

Amplifying Sanctuary Voices (ASV)
An arts-based oral history and storytelling project run out of EBSC. ASV interviews asylum seekers and refugees and works to communicate their diverse stories to broader Bay Area audiences through events, exhibits, classroom curriculum and social media posts. If you have experience doing interviews and research, graphic/web design, or curriculum development experience and would like to get involved, please email sanctuaryvoices@eastbaysanctuary.org with a current resume.

International Rescue Committee
By volunteering with the IRC in Oakland, CA, you use your skills to help people who have fled violence and persecution to rebuild their lives in America.

Inside the Living Room (UC Berkeley)
ILR creates meaningful internship & service opportunities for UC Berkeley students seeking to understand immigrant refugee rights, legal processes and frameworks, and immigrant advocacy through the working of legal cases and educational programs for immigrants and the public with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant. Learn more by visiting their website and Facebook page.

Events

A virtual keynote with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Friday, August 20, 2021, 4:00-5:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s remarkable book, The Undocumented Americans, will be highlighted this fall as the featured text for On the Same Page. Everyone at Cal is invited to watch her virtual keynote during Golden Bear Orientation. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio will be in conversation with actor Diane Guerrero.

Craftivism 101 Workshop with Shannon Downey aka Badass Cross Stitch
Thursday, September 23, 2021, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM 
240 Bechtel Engineering Center
Workshop will take place in person with Shannon Zooming in

Open to UC Berkeley undergraduates only. Pre-registration required.

Get acquainted with craftivism, learn to embroider, stitch something brilliant, and make friends—all in just 2 hours!

Restricted to 25 participants. Pre-register here (password: Stitch): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/craftivism-101-workshop-with-shannon-downey-aka-badass-cross-stitch-tickets-168473305191

Craft-based activism has been used as a tool of resistance, coalition building, and even espionage! Learn from Shannon Downey aka Badass Cross Stitch —a leader in the modern craftivism movement.

She will provide an introduction to the history of craftivism and ways you can get involved in the modern movement. Shannon will then teach you how to embroider and use the shared reading, The Undocumented Americans, by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio as a catalyst for our making and dialogue. It will be a unique and fun way to connect with other students and stab it out!

Materials will be provided.

Shannon Downey, better known as Badass Cross Stitch, is a community organizer disguised as a fiber artist and craftivist. She blends her politics, activism, and art into projects that are designed to inspire others to take action, think, discuss, engage with democracy and their community, and find some digital/analog balance. She is the instigator behind #RitasQuilt #MakeDontBreak and @BadassHerstory

She is on a quest to teach 1 million people to embroider and invite society to rethink how we categorize, and value craft and art. Shannon sold everything she owned and moved into an RV this past June to bring art, activism, and community to the country that she still believes in.

She teaches at Columbia College, DePaul University, Salem College and is founder of Seriously Badass Women.

Learn more: www.BadassCrossStitch.com

Grassroots Organizing for Immigration Justice: A Multi-Racial Conversation
Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 3:30-5:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Panelists
Angela Chan (Policy Director & Senior Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform program at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus)
Amaha Kassa (Founder and Director of African Communities Together)
Gerónimo Ramírez (Youth Leader and Community Council Member at the International Mayan League)

Moderators
Christian Paiz (Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley)
Leti Volpp (Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law, UC Berkeley)

Presented by the On the Same Page Program, the Center for Race & Gender Forum Series, the Department of Ethnic Studies, and the IGS Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Colloquium.

Center for Race and Gender’s Radical Kinship Series: The Radical Capacities of Ghosts, Auto-Deportation, and Art
Monday, October 11, 2021, 4:00-5:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Speakers
Dillon Sung (USC)
César Miguel Rivera Vega Magallón (Mexico Advocacy Fellow at the Rhizome Center for Migrants in the city of Guadalajara)

Host and Curator
Alan Pelaez Lopez (Arts and Humanities Initiative Research Scholar, Center for Race and Gender, UC Berkeley)

Sponsored by On the Same Page and the Center for Race and Gender

For more information about this event, visit the CRG website: https://www.crg.berkeley.edu/events/the-radical-capacities-of-ghosts-auto-deportation-and-art/

Center for Race and Gender’s Radical Kinship Series: The Space Between Body, Spirit, and Migration: A Poetry Reading and Drag Performance
Thursday, October 28, 2021, 4:00-5:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Speakers
Gladys Wangeci Gitau-Damaskos (author of I’m Not Allowed to Explain (Only Foreshadow & Reminisce))
Wo Chan (drag performer)

Host and Curator
Alan Pelaez Lopez (Arts and Humanities Initiative Research Scholar, Center for Race and Gender, UC Berkeley)

Sponsored by On the Same Page and the Center for Race and Gender

For more information about this event, visit the CRG website: https://www.crg.berkeley.edu/events/the-space-between-body-spirit-and-migration-a-poetry-reading-and-drag-performance/

WE EXIST: A dialogue on the self-representation of undocumented people in the arts and media
Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 5:00-6:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Panelists
Nicole Solis-Sison (creative director, artist, producer and educator)
Julio Salgado (co-founder of DreamersAdrift and the Migrant Storytelling Manager for The Center for Cultural Power)
Aura Bogado (journalist)

Moderator
Andrés Cediel, School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

Center for Race and Gender’s Radical Kinship Series: On Trains, to all Migrants, Past Present, and Future: A live podcast recording about trains, undocumented/unauthorized migration, and settler-colonialism
Thursday, February 10, 2022, 4:00-5:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Speakers
Angel (writer)
Kim (researcher)

Host and Curator
Alan Pelaez Lopez (Arts and Humanities Initiative Research Scholar, Center for Race and Gender, UC Berkeley)

Sponsored by On the Same Page and the Center for Race and Gender

For more information about this event, visit the CRG website: https://www.crg.berkeley.edu/events/on-trains-to-all-migrants-past-present-and-future-a-live-podcast-recording-about-trains-undocumented-unauthorized-migration-and-settler-colonialism/

Center for Race and Gender’s Radical Kinship Series: Black Illegalities, Citizenship, and the Law
Thursday, March 10, 2022, 4:00-5:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Speakers
Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton)
Joel Sati (Yale – UC Berkeley)

Host and Curator
Alan Pelaez Lopez (Arts and Humanities Initiative Research Scholar, Center for Race and Gender, UC Berkeley)

Sponsored by On the Same Page and the Center for Race and Gender

For more information about this event, visit the CRG website: https://www.crg.berkeley.edu/events/black-illegalities-citizenship-and-the-law/