Speakers

Chris Brewster is superintendent of Santa Fe South Schools in Oklahoma City.  He has served in public education for a total of 18 years and began work with these charter schools as founding principal in 2001.  Born in Kansas City, Brewster was a child of missionaries and was raised in five states and two countries.  He graduated from high school in the Philippines. Earning his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, he entered the public education field serving as a music teacher and coach in the inner city of Oklahoma City.  Brewster completed his master’s in education from the University of Oklahoma and is currently working on his doctorate from OU. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Christi. They they have four children, Anna, Ben, Jesse and Lydia.  The three who are of school age attend Santa Fe South schools.

Keith Gaddie is a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma. He has worked as a litigation consultant in voting rights and redistricting cases for both major political parties and for both plaintiffs and respondents, in cases in Florida, Illinois, Texas, New York, Georgia, Oklahoma, among others. Over the past several years, he has offered commentary, interviews, or served as a guest broadcaster for local, national and international media outlets. His current research projects include a study of the legal and political strategies associated with the Texas redistricting fight and voting rights progress in the South.

Joshua Hoyt has been the director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights since May of 2002.  ICIRR has helped make Illinois one of the most immigrant-friendly states in the country and has emerged as a national leader in the campaigns for immigration reform.  Hoyt was invited to meet with President Obama in the White House in 2010 over immigration reform negotiations. He has testified before Congress and has commented on immigration issues on national news shows and written opinion columns for major media outlets. His career as an organizer for social justice spans more than three decades and includes work in Chicago and Baltimore and in the countries of Spain, Peru, and Panama. This includes many years of work in the poorest Latino communities of Chicago and organizing as a lay volunteer for the Catholic Church in the highlands of Peru and in the Diocese of Colon, Panama. Hoyt was educated at the University of Illinois and the Universidad Central de Barcelona, Spain, and received his Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago. He is married and has two grown children.

Jerry Kammer became a research fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies in 2008, after a three-decade career in journalism that he began as a reporter for the Navajo Times in Arizona. In 1986, he became Northern Mexico correspondent for The Arizona Republic. For an investigative series on the living and working conditions of Mexican workers in maquiladora factories, he received the Robert F. Kennedy Award. In 2000, Kammer became the Republic’s Washington correspondent. Two years later, he began covering immigration and U.S.-Mexico relations for the Copley News Service. In 2005, he joined colleague Marcus Stern in exposing a congressional earmarks-for-bribes scandal whose central figure was Rep. Randy Cunningham of California, who is now in prison. Their work was honored with the George Polk award and the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Kammer is a graduate of Notre Dame, has a Masters in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and was a Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard.

Richard Klinge serves as Associate Director for Catholic Charities for the Oklahoma City Archdiocese.  His areas of responsibility are Advocacy, Outreach and Legal Services, with supervisory responsibility for the Immigration Assistance Program and the Refugee Program at Catholic  Charities.  His area of responsibility also includes advocacy and education on Catholic Social Teaching and how it speaks to social, political and economic issues. Since joining Catholic Charities in 2007, HB 1804, Oklahoma’s Anti-immigration statute and its impact has been the focus of much of his work.  He has advocated and lectured throughout the state regarding both the legal and practical implications of that and related legislation.  His prior work includes the positions of General Counsel for two Oklahoma based publicly traded corporations and extensive litigation experience in both federal and state courts in multiple jurisdictions. He is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law.

Aarti Kohli is director of immigration policy at the Warren Institute at the University of California at Berkeley.  She has served as a Consultant to the Office of Children’s Issues for the U.S. Department of State, where she has drafted federal regulations on international adoption and prepared agency responses to industry comments for publication in the Federal Register. Formerly, she was Judiciary Committee and Immigration and Claims Subcommittee counsel to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA).  Prior to working for Congress, she served as Assistant Legislative Director at UNITE union in Washington, DC.  In addition, she has also worked as a consultant to the National Immigration Law Center, the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and the National Immigration Forum.  Aarti earned her J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and is a member of the California Bar.

Daniel M. Kowalski has been practicing immigration law since 1985, representing clients from the richest multinational corporations to the poorest asylum-seekers from every continent.  He works at the Fowler Law Firm in Austin, Texas. Kowalski is editor of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin (LexisNexis), a subscription technical journal, and Bender’s Immigration Bulletin – Daily Edition (a free public Web site).  He earned a bachelors degree in Spanish at the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law, San Antonio.  Kowalski has taught immigration law at the University of Colorado School of Law and the University of Washington School of Law.

Elizabeth McCormick is Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. She developed and currently directs the Immigrant Rights Project, a clinical program in which law students represent vulnerable non-citizens in a variety of immigration matters, including individuals seeking asylum in the United States and victims of crime, trafficking and domestic violence.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Tulsa, McCormick was a member of the clinical faculty at Cornell Law School and the University of Connecticut School of Law.  She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Martha Mendoza is an Associated Press National Writer whose reports have won numerous awards and prompted Congressional hearings, Pentagon investigations and White House responses. She won a 2000 Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting as part of a team that revealed, with extensive documentation, the decades-old secret of how American soldiers early in the Korean War killed hundreds of civilians at the No Gun Ri bridge. Mendoza is the recipient of numerous other state, regional, national and international journalism awards, including the Overseas Press Club’s Madeline Dane Ross Award, the National Science Writers Association Award, California First Amendment Coalition Beacon Award for Freedom of Information, and repeated AP Managing Editors honors. She has reported for the AP since 1997, in Albuquerque, N.M., New York and Mexico City. She was a 2001 Knight Fellow at Stanford University and a 2007 Ferris Professor for Humanities at Princeton University. She lives in Santa Cruz, Calif. with her husband and four children.

Dianne Solis is a senior writer at the Dallas Morning News, reporting on immigration. Her stories have probed the lives of a Honduran family split by deportation, a retiree who crusades against immigration, the victims of identity theft, and Guatemalans who endure low wages and dangerous working conditions in the Texas meatpacking industry. Solís has also written about the rise of drug cartels in Mexico, violence against migrants along the Guatemalan-Mexico border and deportees who have been forcibly sedated with powerful psychotropic drugs. She formerly covered immigration for The Wall Street Journal from the Journal’s Houston and Mexico City bureaus, and has written for public radio and television. Solís, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, was raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California where all her grandparents settled after fleeing the violence of the Mexican Revolution.

Douglas Stump, founder and Senior Attorney at Stump & Associates, P.C., has nearly three decades of experience in the practice of immigration law.  He currently serves as the National First Vice President of the 11,500 member American Immigration lawyers Association (AILA), the nation’s largest organization of immigration attorneys. He frequently serves in an advisory capacity on legislative efforts to draft new immigration laws. He has co-edited over 20 books on immigration law and spoken at more than 75 national and international conferences on immigration law. Since 1996, he has been listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for immigration law. Stump was recently recognized in Oklahoma Magazine as one of the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Oklahoma and is listed in Who’s Who of International Corporate Immigration Attorneys.

Arturo Vargas is the executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a national membership organization of Latino policymakers and their supporters.  He also serves as executive director of the NALEO Educational Fund, an affiliated national nonprofit organization that strengthens American democracy by promoting the full participation of Latinos in civic life. Prior to joining NALEO, Vargas was vice president for community education and public policy of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He has also worked as a senior education policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C. He holds a masters degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish from Stanford University.  He is from Los Angeles and was born in El Paso, Texas.

Jose Antonio Vargas, an award-winning multimedia journalist, is the founder of Define American, an immigration advocacy group. Last year, he stunned media colleagues and sparked a national debate when he wrote an essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine. Born in the Philippines, he emigrated to the United States at the age of 12. As a reporter for the Washington Post, he covered tech and video game culture, HIV/AIDS and politics and was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. His 2006 series on HIV/AIDS in Washington, D.C., inspired a feature-length documentary, which he co-produced and wrote. The film premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and aired on Showtime. Vargas later worked for the Huffington Post as a senior contributing editor and also has written for the New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He lives in New York City.

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  1. Your Editor in Norman, Oklahoma - April 20, 2012

    […] residence with the 2012 "Immigration in the Heartland" Fellows.  Posting may be lighter and/or later than usual for a few […]

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