Lecture: "Immigration and Information at the Crossroads"

Professor Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington, will discuss his current research and projects that focus on immigration. He will share information on:

  • Latinx Stories at UW: Life stories of Latino and Latina faculty members, students, and staff members at University of Washington
  • Foto Historias: Participatory photography with immigrants in Seattle, at the United States-Mexico Border, and in Colombia.
  • Sanctuary: Migration and spaces of sanctuary in the United States and Europe, and sanctuary as an expression of moral outrage.
  • ICT and Surveillance at the United States-Mexico border: Exploring the information needs and practices of irregular migrants at the US-Mexico border; the role of ICT in the context of transnational migration; and the legal and ethical implications of such ICT use.

Professor Gomez’s research statement sheds light on his work:

"The field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (referred to as ICT, ICTD, ICT4D, or Community Informatics) deals with the use of computers and the internet (although other technologies can be considered as well) to promote social and economic development.

I argue that access to computers and other technologies is not sufficient to achieve human development. Beyond access, the skill and capacity to make effective use of the technologies (something we have called 'social appropriation') and the existence of an enabling environment (policy, regulation, and good will) are also crucial if ICT are to contribute to improve the lives of marginalized and underserved communities.

Technology is not good or bad, but it is not neutral. Left alone, it tends to replicate or amplify existing inequalities in society.

The goal of my research is to understand the ways in which use of ICT, especially computers in public places such as libraries, telecenters, and cybercafes, helps people in marginalized communities to improve their lives."

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