‘Policing of Indigenous Communities’ topic of next Conversations on Race and Policing event on September 16

Pictured: California State University San Bernardino.(Photo: California State University San Bernardino)

Press Pool

Panel includes activists and community-based scholars

News Release

California State University, San Bernardino

Law enforcement and the indigenous communities will be the topic of the next Conversations on Race and Policing, an ongoing discussion by the Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) community, set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 16, on Zoom.

"Policing of Indigenous Communities" can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at https://csusb.zoom.us/j/97960458784. This will be the 16th event in the series that began in June.

The panel of activists and community-based scholars will discuss issues ranging from the Los Angeles Police Department, access to translators for indigenous people, the way race shapes the American justice system, the policing of indigenous people across the border and other topics.

The panelists will be:

  • Odilia Romero, co-founder/ executive director of Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO). She is also an independent interpreter of Zapotec, Spanish and English for indigenous communities in Los Angeles and throughout California. Romero has more than a decade of experience organizing indigenous migrant communities. She is currently the first woman to be the bi-national coordinator for the Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales, an immigrant and human rights organization of Mexican indigenous groups. Her organizing knowledge and experience are held in high regard, with multiple academic publications, awards, and lectures at universities across the United States, including John Hopkins, University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. Romero has written on the challenges of organizing in indigenous communities, developing women’s leadership, and preparing a new generation of youth. Her work has also been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and Democracy Now.
  • Stan Rodriguez, activist and tribal councilmember for the Santa Ysabel Band of the Iipay Nation in San Diego County. Rodriguez, a Desert Storm veteran, has witnessed many marginalized communities struggle to have their voice heard. He focuses on equity and social justice by remaining active in a number of community institutions such as Kumeyaay Community College, where he teaches the making of traditional Kumeyaay tools, the gathering and preparation of native foods and works closely with Kumeyaay groups in both the United States and in Mexico. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership through a joint program between University of California San Diego and Cal State San Marcos. His academic focus centers on language loss and revitalization. Rodriguez has worked in education for more than 25 years, teaching at Cuyamaca Community College, Kumeyaay Community College, Cal State San Marcos, the University of Arizona, Tucson, the Department of Defense and various reservations in San Diego County, as well as invited to give guest lectures throughout the U.S. and internationally.
  • Daisy Ocampo, assistant professor of history at Cal State San Bernardino. Ocampo is from the Caz'Ahmo Nation (Caxcan in Spanish). Her academic research centers Indigenous voices in public history institutions such as museums, preservation of sacred sites and community-based archives. Ocampo was interviewed for the University of California Riverside podcast “DReport” in July to discuss the removal of confederate and Spanish colonial monuments. Recent protests over racial injustice have included calls to remove such monuments from prominent public spaces, such as parks and government buildings. This will be Ocampo’s third panel in the Race and Policing series. She participated on the panel for the third conversation on June 17 that included Robin D.G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at University of California, Los Angeles, and participated in the August 12 conversation that focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this summer that prevented the Trump administration from immediately ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The ongoing Conversations on Race and Policing series is hosted by Cal State San Bernardino students Marlo Brooks and Yvette Relles-Powell.

The series is organized by Cal State San Bernardino faculty members Marc Robinson (history), Mary Texeira (sociology) and Jeremy Murray (history), and Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the Cal State San Bernardino John M. Pfau Library.

Conversations on Race and Policing began in the aftermath of the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis, Minn., police officers. A video of the incident posted on social media has led to widespread protests, the firing of four police officers, the arrest of one officer on a second-degree murder charge, the other three on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder – and a spotlight worldwide on race and policing.

Previous forums also are posted online (more recordings will soon be available for viewing) on the California State University, San Bernadino History Club Lecture Series YouTube channel:

On June 16 the College of Arts and Letters presented “Structural Racism, Civil Disobedience, and the Road to Racial Justice in the Age of COVID-19,” which is also posted on YouTube.

The university’s June 9 memorial for Floyd also focused on the Black Lives Matter movement. And, related to the university’s conversations series, Netflix is making the 2016 Ava DuVernay film, “13th,” available for free on its YouTube channel. Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the United States prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.

For more information, contact Robie Madrigal at rmadriga@csusb.edu or Jeremy Murray at jmurray@csusb.edu.

About Cal State San Bernardino

California State University, San Bernardino is a preeminent center of intellectual and cultural activity in Inland Southern California. Opened in 1965 and set at the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, the university serves more than 20,000 students each year and graduates about 4,000 students annually. The university offers more than 70 traditional baccalaureate and master’s degree programs, education credential and certificate programs, and a doctorate program in educational leadership. Every one of its academic programs that is eligible has earned national accreditation. Cal State San Bernardino reflects the dynamic diversity of the region and has the most diverse student population of any university in the Inland Empire. More than 80 percent of those who graduate are the first in their families to do so.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit https://www.csusb.edu/inside.