“The reality is we live in a very unjust society, and I see this current discussion around DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] as an opportunity for all marginalized groups to come together to support one another and to put a stop to the division put between us by those in power.”

Dr. Deb Ortega &
Dr. Ashley Hanna

In the second of a two-part episode, our guests Dr. Deb Ortega and Dr. Ashley Hanna discuss the narratives commonly associated with DACA recipients and immigrants, arguing that these narratives need to be reconstructed. They share the more rarely discussed but accurate stories of these individuals, including the trauma and retraumatization they face. Our guests conclude part two by hypothesizing what DACA recipients can expect in the future and what social workers are called to do now.

Dr. Deb Ortega and Dr. Ashley Hanna

Deb Ortega, PhD, is the founding director of the University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship (DULCCES), a consortium of interdisciplinary faculty dedicated to creating and advancing knowledge that gives voice to the history, politics, culture, and legacies of Latino communities. Dr. Ortega is an award-winning teacher who uses feminist pedagogy to teach courses on issues of social inequality at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Her work focuses on the ways power and every day domination affects Latino communities. Dr. Ortega has authored and co-authored numerous editorials and journal articles focused on immigration, educational access for Latinos, and structural injustice. She is the past president of the Association of Latino Social Work Educators, the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, and the Colorado FOCO representative for the National Association for Chicano/Chicana Studies. She is proud to have been a first generation Latina college student.

Ashley Hanna, PhD, is a tenure-track assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a licensed clinical social worker with more than ten years of practice and research experience. Her primary areas of expertise are behavioral and mental health, clinical social work practice, school-based interventions, racial and ethnic disparities, and the impact of immigration policies and practices on Latino individuals, families, and the community. Dr. Hanna has worked in home-based, outpatient, inpatient, school-based, and international practice settings. Dr. Hanna’s research is concentrated on structural inequities in the United States. She has investigated the unique experiences of Mexican immigrants living in Denver, Colorado, the impact of immigrant detention and deportation on the well-being of Latinos, and the impact of mixed-citizenship status on the emotional well-being of Latinos. Remaining focused on structural inequities, in addition to continued research in the area of immigration, her present research interests also include disproportionality and disparities in the education system related to discipline, academic success, and social-emotional well-being and effective practices to increase equitable outcomes.

Interviewer: Mary Keovisai, MSW

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