COLLEGE PARK, MD—The University of Maryland (UMD) today announced that the campus will commemorate the 2018-19 academic year as the “Year of Immigration.” Driven by the support of faculty, staff and students across UMD’s schools and colleges, theYear of Immigrationwill support the university’s mission to cultivate global citizenry by transforming dialogue into impact on urgent issues related to immigration, global migration and refugees.
“One of the University of Maryland’s great strengths is our international diversity, both on campus and in our surrounding neighborhoods,” said Ross Lewin, UMD Associate Vice President for International Affairs. “We hope the Year of Immigration will provide opportunities to learn, discuss solutions, and connect in ways that will foster a more inclusive community.”
Migration is one of the biggest challenges facing the U.S. and the world at large. As of last month,more than 500 migrant childrenwere yet to be reunited with their families following separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and bipartisan agreement on U.S. immigration reform remainsa challenge. Last year, a record68.5 million peoplearound the world were forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution and poverty. That’s an average of one person displaced every two seconds.
Working to advance UMD’s mission to prepare students for an increasingly global society, the Year of Immigration will offer curricula and programming under three interconnected themes:
Conversationwill include a series of educational opportunities to raise awareness and deepen knowledge in the UMD community on key issues related to immigration, global migration and refugees. This includes the selection for the 2018-19First Year Book, “The Refugees,” by Vietnamese-American novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, who willvisit campusin October as part of the Arts & Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series. The initiative will highlight immigration and migration-themed courses from across the university’s schools and colleges,Education Abroadprograms andGlobal Classrooms.
Communitywill provide UMD community members with opportunities to engage with local international and immigrant communities. UMD’sOffice of Community Engagementwill host a series of translation and interpretation events throughout the year, as well as a fall “Design Thinking” workshop with area non-profit organizations that will focus on immigrant civil rights issues.
Culturewill recognize and celebrate the international diversity and cultures of our campus, surrounding communities and beyond. This will include original storytelling, a film festival, international food events through UMDDining Services, exhibitions presented by UMD Libraries’Special Collectionsand numerous globally-focused arts performances, including an opera and chamber music series as part of the School of Music MarylandOpera Studio’s Kurt Weill Festivalbeginning in October.
As the largest public research university in the Washington, D.C. region, UMD has a student body representing over 130 countries. More than one-third of our graduate students and1,300 scholarscome here from other countries to study, teach and conduct research. UMD alsopartners closelywith the surrounding Prince George’s County community, where nearly one in four residents are foreign-born.
“The Year of Immigration provides an opportunity for us to highlight and engage students, faculty and staff in the wide range of research, teaching and service conducted on the flagship campus, illuminating contemporary and historical aspects of the movement of peoples across and within borders,” said Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean of UMD’s College of Arts & Humanities.
For more information, visitwww.yearofimmigration.umd.edu, or engage on social media with #YearofImmigration.