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January 24, 2005

Press Contacts: Jodi Bart, UT Law Communications, (512) 471-7330 or Kirston Fortune, UT Law Communications, (512) 471.7330.
Event Contact: Professor Karen Engle, UT Law, (512) 232-7066.

"Working Borders" Conference on Immigration and Labor Policy, Feb. 10-11

WHAT: UT Law's Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice Inaugural Conference
WHERE: UT School of Law, Eidman Courtroom
WHEN: Feb. 10 & 11, 2005
REGISTRATION: The conference is free and open to the public. To register, go to: http://www.utexas.edu/law/conferences/workingborders/index.html.
SCHEDULE: http://www.utexas.edu/law/conferences/workingborders/agenda.html

Streaming Video of the Working Borders Conference Now Available in Windows Media Format:
(Requires Windows Media Player)

AUSTIN, Texas — The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at The University of Texas School of Law will host its inaugural conference, "Working Borders: Linking Debates about Insourcing and Outsourcing of Labor and Capital," on Feb. 10-11 in the Law School's Eidman Courtroom. The Center was recently founded to connect students, practitioners and academics engaged in the interdisciplinary study of human rights both locally and globally.

Maria Echaveste, deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and an advocate for the rights of migrant workers, will open the conference with the keynote address at 4:30 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 10. The daughter of Mexican farm workers, Eschaveste will share her thoughts on immigration and outsourcing in light of her leading role in coordinating U.S. policy on immigration and labor.

Karen Engle, director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, said this conference is the first of its kind to relate the growing public debate over outsourcing (the movement of “American” jobs and capital overseas) to insourcing (the migration of workers into the United States).

Practitioners, policymakers, activists, and academics from a variety of disciplines will consider the underlying concerns that animate today’s debates over the global flow of labor and capital by critically examining contemporary proposals for both relaxing and heightening immigration restrictions and for encouraging and discouraging U.S. companies from moving part or all of their operations abroad.

Speakers include professors of law, sociology, Latin American studies, and economics from Berkeley, Fordham, Harvard, Northeastern, Rutgers, and UT. Participants' biographies can be found at http://www.utexas.edu/law/conferences/workingborders/biographies.html.

A group of students from the Department of Theatre and Dance at UT will put on two 15-minute "Living Newspaper" performances during the conference. A living newspaper is a documentary-style performance form made popular during the 1930s by the Federal Theatre Project, part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The living newspaper will take inspiration from newspaper articles, images, and films to create a collaborative performance around the history and current issues of immigration and labor in the United States.

“By bringing together practitioners and academics from a variety of disciplines to challenge the borders between the local and global and the economic and political, this conference is an ideal way to launch the Center,” Engle said. She noted that the mission of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice is to build a multidisciplinary community engaged in the study and practice of human rights that promotes the economic and political enfranchisement of marginalized individuals and groups both locally and globally. “The conference is also a fitting tribute to Bernard and Audre Rapoport, who have spent much of their lives committed to both immigrants and workers,” Engle added.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS). It is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to register online at http://www.utexas.edu/law/conferences/workingborders/agenda.html. For directions and parking at UT Law please go to: http://www.utexas.edu/law/about/parking.html. Paid parking is available in the San Jacinto Garage (PG 1) between 24th and Dean Keeton Streets: http://www.utexas.edu/parking/parking/garages/pg1.html.

Related Links
Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice: http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/humanrights/
Conference Schedule: http://www.utexas.edu/law/conferences/workingborders/agenda.html
The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation: http://www.rapoportfdn.org/
The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS): http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/llilas/
UT Law Receives $500,000 Grant from Rapoport Foundation to Create Human Rights Initiative, Transnational Worker Rights Clinic: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/060704_grant.html