Tomorrow: Migrant worker rights during COVID; other October events & news

A reminder of these events, including one tomorrow, from a fellow Canadian organization in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Event tomorrow: Migrant farmworker rights during COVID-19
  • Meet Canadian Studies: Board Member Kirk Miller
  • In the news: Ass’t VC David Jeu to retire from Berkeley, return to Canada
  • Upcoming event: Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
  • Upcoming event: COVID-19’s impact on people with disabilities in Canada
Social Movements and Legal Mobilisation in Times of Crisis: Migrant Farm Worker Rights in Canada
Lecture | October 6 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected migrant farm workers. Former Hildebrand Fellow Vasanthi Venkatesh, a professor of law at the University of Windsor specializing in social movements and immigration, gives context to the crisis by showing how the pandemic has overlaid itself onto existing systemic racial discrimination against migrant farm workers embedded in law and policy. She also shows how migrant farm worker advocates have responded to the crisis by exposing the racial capitalism of the Canadian agricultural economy, using radical narratives to challenge these systems.
RSVP to to receive a webcast link.
Meet Canadian Studies: Board Member Kirk Miller
Kirk Miller is an architect, developer, and longstanding supporter of the Canadian Studies program. A native of Alberta, Kirk moved to the United States to attend architectural school at UC Berkeley. After graduation, he established a successful architectural career in San Francisco, where he remains involved in regional development conversations and the Bay Area Canadian expatriate community. We talked to Kirk about his history with Canadian Studies and life as a Canadian in California; read the full interview here.
On his connection to Canada:
My grandparents immigrated to the Canadian prairies when the prairies were still part of the Northwest Territories. My maternal grandparents homesteaded. My paternal grandfather helped build the railroads.
I was raised in Red Deer, Alberta. At 17 years of age, after running out of challenges in Red Deer, I went “East” to the Collège Militaire Royal de Saint-Jean, 25 miles south of Montreal. I also studied political science and sociology at the University of Alberta. Not knowing what I wanted to do, I turned down an offer to pursue graduate studies in poli sci and taught high school for a couple of years. I moved to Quebec City. It was there I was further immersed in French Canadian culture, lived in the Vieux Quartier (within the walls), and studied architecture at Université Laval.
How he came to Berkeley:
Quebec was going through the “Quiet Revolution” while I was at Laval. That caused me to look for a new venue to continue my architectural studies. The UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design had just started a new program where the graduate school offered a professional master’s degree if you had an undergraduate degree in any field.
Coming to Berkeley changed my life. I was forced to think outside the box, or even without a box. Cal was coming off of the Free Speech Movement. It was (and is) a thought leader. The architectural curriculum had a plethora of advanced and thought-provoking courses.
Why he supports Canadian Studies:
I have always been very interested in research (both my wife and brother are academics). Given the depth, breadth, and interdependence of Canada’s relationship with the US, there is an increasing need to study all aspects of the relationship and to strengthen it. The Canadian Studies program is on the right path. Irene Bloemraad {Program Director} and David Stewart {Board Chair} have formed a synergistic leadership unit for the future of the program. Now it is a matter of implementation, and the adjustments that are made during that implementation.
In the News
Ass’t Vice Chancellor David Jeu to Retire from UC Berkeley
The Canadian Studies Program would like to wish a fond farewell to David Jeu, assistant vice chancellor of International Relations at UC Berkeley. David will be retiring at the end of this month after ten years of service to the university.
As head of the Office of International Relations, David has been instrumental in helping Canadian Studies form critical fundraising relationships and tap streams of philanthropy to support our program. David has always been a trusted partner for our program, thanks not only to his thirty years of experience in nonprofit management but also to his background as a Canadian. Prior to joining Berkeley, David was Director of Global Development at the University of Alberta and his connections in Canada have been invaluable to the program.
David and his family will be returning to Canada to rejoin their children and soon-to-be grandchild. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy at Berkeley, and we wish him well in his future endeavours.
Right: David Jeu and Canadian Studies program director Irene Bloemraad at a Canadian federal elections watch party at UC Berkeley, 2015.
Upcoming Events
Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
Colloquium | October 20 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
Learn about the research Canadian Studies funds through our Edward Hildebrand Graduate Research Fellowships, as recipients present short overviews of their projects. Participating scholars are Desirée Valadares, (“Idling No More: Reading Japanese Canadian World War II Road Camps Alongside Specters of Indigeneity on the Hope-Princeton Highway in British Columbia, Canada”) and Martha Herrera-Lasso Gonzalez (“Regionalizing NAFTA: Theaters of Translation in Mexico City and Quebec”).
External Event: COVID-19 and Global Inequalities
Lecture | October 29 | Time TBA | Online
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen disproportionately on marginalized communities, among these people with disabilities. University of Windsor Law professor Laverne Jacobs, an expert in disability rights law who was Canadian Studies’ inaugural Fulbright Chair in 2014, will be part of a panel discussing the impact of the pandemic on Canadians with disabilities.
The lecture is part of “COVID-19 and Global Inequalities”, an innovative online course offered by Berkeley Law featuring faculty and students from around the world. Following the lectures, participants will be able to discuss the social inequalities relating to COVID and disability in a variety of jurisdictions.
RSVP information will be announced at a later date.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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