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2018 Teacher Training Workshop

No Human is Alien: Gang Violence in Central America and Contemporary Immigration Debates

March 19, 2018. 4:00pm-8:00pm. University of Michigan, Room 1014, Tisch Hall, 435 S State St, Ann Arbor

SCECH units available (3 hours)

This workshop will introduce grade 6-12 teachers (but all are welcome!) to the complex issue of gang violence in Central America, helping them to contextualize it within the region’s history and current events. This program will start by contextualizing the political, historical, and economic relationship between the US and Central America to explore the concepts of criminality, violence, immigration policy, imperialism, justice systems, and representation of these themes in art. We will highlight immigrant populations and explore the causes of violence in their home countries and how it is represented in art, media, and popular discourse. Teachers will leave with a more nuanced understanding of these topics and ideas for how to make stories of violence and immigration more palatable and approachable for a young audience. They will also have access to a collection of resources and strategies for sharing these themes with students.

All participants will be eligible to »

  • receive 3 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs)
  • apply for a curriculum development grant of up to $200 for books and materials. Applications for these grants will be made available to participants after the workshop.

Registration Fee: $10.00

Included in cost: Dinner, coffee and snacks, a copy of Blood Barrios: Dispatches from the World’s Deadliest Streets by Alberto Arce and illustrated by German Andino, and teaching resources.

For SCECH credits, teachers must bring an additional $10 (payable by cash or check) on the day of the workshop.


How do US foreign policy and US immigration policy intersect?  The case of Central America.

Dr. Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Professor of History and American Culture

Gang violence in Central America: Visual Art and Book Presentation

German Andino, Honduran artist and Alberto Arce, Award winning journalist

Immigration Enforcement in Washtenaw County: What is Happening in our Own Community

Dr. William D. Lopez, Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Michigan

Learning to ‘Watch’ a Photo: Ideas for Teaching the Politics of Migration with Images

Alexander Stephens, Ph.D. Graduate Student at the University of Michigan, and the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop: Migration and Displacement


Germán Andino
is a Honduran journalist, writer, and artist. His multimedia webcomic, El hábito de la mordaza, will be printed and mounted as a 75 meter long display outside of the workshop. He uses graphic art and comics to tell stories of gang violence in Honduras that inspire empathy and understanding. He also illustrated Alberto Arce’s Novato en nota roja about his experience as the only AP correspondent to Honduras.

Alberto Arce is an independent writer and reporter based in Mexico City. He was a staff editor for The New York Times en Español and worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press in Mexico and Central America. As a writer and cameraman, Arce has covered conflicts in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Lebanon, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina and Gaza. Influenced by his experiences in war-torn countries, Arce is interested in the plight of Syrian and Central American refugees living in the United States and Europe. His awards include an Investigative Reporters and Editors Tom Renner Award, an American Society of Newspaper Editors Batten Medal, an Overseas Press Club Award and a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. Arce holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Universidade Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain and a master’s degree in international economic relations from Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Buenos Aires. Alberto is currently a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan.

Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof is Associate Professor of History and American Culture (Latina/o Studies) at the University of Michigan. He is author of A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950 (Princeton 2008).  His Forthcoming book, Racial Migrations: New York City and the Revolutionary Politics of the Spanish Caribbean, 1850-1902 (Princeton, 2019), explores the lives and intellectual productions of a group of radicals and revolutionaries from Puerto Rico and Cuba who, like the main characters in the Broadway play Hamilton, were immigrants who negotiated paths of social mobility “up from the bottom,” while conspiring to overthrow a colonial monarchy, end slavery, and establish a liberal republic.  But unlike Hamilton, casting these figures as black or Latina/o requires no act of counterfactual imagination.  They were, for the most part, both black and Latina/o.  In Racial Migrations, Hoffnung-Garskof tries to understand what kinds of politics those overlapping racial and national identities allowed, shedding new light on Caribbean revolutionary movements that took shape within and across New York’s idiosyncratic color lines.  At the University of Michigan, Professor Hoffnung-Garskof teaches courses on the history of Latin American music, the history of Latinas/os in the United States, and the History of US Immigration Law.

William D. Lopez is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the National Center for Institutional Diversity and School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. William received his PhD from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. He uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the effects of immigration policy on Latino mixed-status communities, specifically considering the health effects of immigration raids. His current research focuses on improving access to health care resources among mixed-status communities in an era of increasing immigration law enforcement. He is working on a book project based on the interviews of community members involved in a collaborative immigration raid. William has been fortunate to collaborate both in his research and advocacy with the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Synod Community Services, which operate the Washtenaw County ID Program.

Alexander Stephens is a doctoral student in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on race, migration, policing and incarceration in the Caribbean and United States during the twentieth century. He has taught as a graduate student instructor for courses in both U.S. and Latin American history. Alexander is a co-coordinator for the Migration & Displacement Interdisciplinary Workshop, which brings together graduate students from across disciplines and fields with an interest in questions of migration, displacement, diaspora, exile, and related topics.

Ana María Silva is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Michigan. In her research, she explores ideas and mechanisms of attachment to place in seventeenth century Cartagena de Indias. This includes the formation of urban systems of inclusion and exclusion, and the ambiguous relationships between mobility, rootedness, and empire in a slave society. She looks at how ideas about racial and religious difference intersected with local policies aimed at regulating urban growth and shaping the possibilities for forced and voluntary migrants to become rooted in the city. Her interests also include Museum Studies and Public History.

Gerson Rosales is a PhD Student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the history of twentieth-century Central America and the United States, with an emphasis on migration identities and transnational social movements.