San Francisco, CA May 1, 2014 – UC Hastings College of the Law students, alumni, and community members will gather on Thursday, May 1st to hold a press conference on the steps of the school’s administration building and deliver a petition with 400+ signatures calling for Chancellor and Dean Frank H. Wu to rescind the commencement keynote speaker invitation to Janet Napolitano, the former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary and current UC President. UC Hastings is led by an autonomous nine-member Board of Directors, not Napolitano. UC Hastings does not receive funding from the Regents of the UC system.
Napolitano represents the heartbreaking impact of U.S. immigration policies on individuals and families. In her tenure as the Secretary of the DHS Napolitano was responsible for deporting nearly 2 million people - more than any Secretary in history. She spearheaded other inhumane policies, including widespread implementation of so-called “Secure Communities,” a deportation program notorious for its conflation of the criminal and immigration systems, and a “detention bed mandate” requiring officials to fill 34,000 facility beds daily.
Aside from increasing the marginalization of communities, her actions have caused profound angst to members of the Class of 2014, their families, and members of the Hastings community at large. Honoring Napolitano with the prestigious position of graduation speaker implies an endorsement of her career legacy and tacitly signals praise for her actions as DHS Secretary.
May 1st is also International Workers’ Day and marches for immigration reform and workers’ rights are scheduled in cities all over the U.S. We stand in solidarity by expressing our opposition to Napolitano continuing to be the scheduled UC Hastings commencement speaker.
WHAT: Petition delivery to Chancellor and Dean Frank Wu demanding that he rescind the commencement keynote invitation to Napolitano and replace her with a speaker who represents the best of the law.
WHO: UC Hastings students and alumni speakers.
WHEN: Thursday, May 1 at 9:00 AM.
WHERE: We will meet outside the law school at 200 McAllister, San Francisco, CA where remarks will be given. The petition signatures will then be taken inside the building and delivered to the administration.
WHY: The petition from the Hastings Students, Alumni, and Community Say No to Napolitano (http://www.change.org/petitions/dean-wu-no-to-napolitano
) reads as follows:
“Commencement should be a time of great celebration--a moment for the students and other attendees to reflect upon past accomplishments and future aspirations. Having Janet Napolitano speak at commencement will solely remind everyone of discrimination, heartbreak, and despair.”
Leah Chen Price 415-533-4399 leah.price [at] gmail.com
Maria Dominguez 510-967-3916 domingma [at] uchastings.edu
Noemi Gallardo 805-832-8411 gallardo.noemi [at] gmail.com