Panelists focus on psychosocial impact of deportation, detention on migrants

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The Great Cities Institute, the UIC Center for Global Health, Chicago Community Trust and the Healthy Communities Foundation co-sponsor a panel focusing on deportations, trauma.

Children separated from their families during immigration are often put into circumstances that can have long-lasting emotional and developmental effects. These children are at an increased risk of emotional dysregulation, depression, suicide, substance abuse, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.

The Great Cities Institute, the Center for Global Health and the Institute for Humanities global migration working group at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Community Trust and the Healthy Communities Foundation have co-sponsored a conference to address questions about how to serve these children and what can be done to mitigate the trauma they have experienced. The event will feature first-person accounts from migrants, reports from researchers and clinicians studying how the trauma of deportation and detention affects families and communities.

Migrants, practitioners, advocates and researchers will share knowledge and strategies on preventing and ameliorating these impacts. Three panel discussions will cover “Understanding the Context of Migration and (Im)migration Policies,” “Psychosocial Impacts on Children and Families,”and “Advocacy, Programmatic and Policy Recommendations and Strategies.” 

For more information and to register for this free event, visit the event webpage.


Friday, Sept. 28
9 a.m. to noon


UIC Student Center East, Illinois Room
750 S. Halsted St.


The keynote speaker is Luis Zayas, dean and professor of social work at the University of Texas at Austin. Zayas is a national leader in social work and expert on the impact of deportation on immigrant children and the author of “Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans” (Oxford, 2015).

Panelists include:

Dr. Stevan Weine, professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine and director of the UIC Center for Global Health

Patricia Macia-Rojas, assistant professor of sociology, UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dana Rusch, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, UIC College of Medicine

Jose Bravo, executive director, Just Transition Alliance

Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director, Heartland Alliance National

Miguel Keberlein, executive director, Metropolitan Family Services Legal Aid Society

Dagmara Avelar, program coordinator, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights




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