Investments in Vulnerability: The Limits of Charity & Protection

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

691 Barrows Hall

The Center for Race & Gender Thursday Forum Series presents…
Investments in Vulnerability: The Limits of Charity & Protection

Sustaining the Disability Community: The Weaving of Activism, Kinship, and Cash Economies
Dr. Juliann Anesi, Gender and Women’s Studies Department

Aoga Fiamalamalama and Loto Taumafai Schools are non-governmental organizations (NGOs), established in the 1970s for students with intellectual and physical disabilities in Samoa (an independent state in the Pacific). The impact of NGOs on “vulnerable communities” in developing countries is fraught with questions about the long-term benefits of such organizations to the local communities. This talk focuses on the limits of international aid in creating educational institutions for disabled students. Specifically, I examine the funding from organizations in New Zealand, Japan, and the US and how the women organizers used these monies to sustain the schools. I analyze the creative fundraising strategies by the schools and the impact of inconsistent funding to NGOs. I will discuss how international aid programs are tools of neocolonial monitoring practices for developing nations.

Proper Victim as Proper Police: The Legal Sanctuary of Immigrant Injury and Sexual Violence
Dr. Lee Ann Wang, Berkeley School of Law

What does it mean to participate in an immigration raid in order to provide legal assistance to survivors of gender and sexual violence?  On the one hand, the raid is a site of migration management through punishment, and on the other, an unfurling of protection and its possibilities.  Such practices actually serve each other but are rarely seen as such.  How is it then, that we have come to understand the beginnings of legal protection as so distinctly removed from punishment?  This talk will discuss the forms of writing the law undergoes in order to establish the terms of protection in U.S. immigration law.  Focusing on post 9/11 counter-terrorism measures through various points of increasing federal and local “cooperation,” I analyze the place of the Violence Against Women Act and immigrant protection provisions.  I will discuss the role of rescue narratives and the law’s writing of racial injury.  Both, are sites where immigrant women’s experiences are used to activate mechanisms of policing and punishment in ways that extend far beyond their own bodies and communities.


Juliann Anesi is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department. In 2015, she received her Ph.D. in Special Education and Disability Studies from Syracuse University. Her research interests focus on educational policies, indigenous women with disabilities, and intellectual and physical disabilities in the Pacific Islands. Juliann is also a former Board member of the Society of Disability Studies, and has worked with non-profit organizations and schools in American Samoa, California, Hawai´i, New York and Samoa. Currently, she is developing a book manuscript, Women’s Tautua: Education and Disability Activism in Samoa.

Lee Ann Wang is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Berkeley School of Law.  She received her doctoral degree from the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan and has previously taught at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in the Department of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies.  She is a founding member and Co-Coordinator of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association Board and worked as an immigrant rights and anti-violence community organizer, advocate, and youth mentor with Asian American and multiracial organizations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.

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