Undocumented Students and Their Pursuit of the American Dream

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PITTSBURGH—William Perez, associate professor of education at Claremont Graduate University, will deliver a free public lecture at noon March 3, titled “Americans by Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education.” The talk will take place at Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems, School of Social Work Conference Center, 20th floor, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Perez’s presentation is part of the center’s Reed Smith Spring 2014 Speaker Series. Registration is not required; lunch will be provided. For more information, visit www.crsp.pitt.edu or call 412-624-7382.

Perez, widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on undocumented students, conducts research focusing on the academic achievement of Latino students as well as their social and psychological development.

He is the author of We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream (Stylus Publishing, 2009). In it, Perez gives voice to the estimated 2.4 million undocumented students in the United States and draws attention to their plight. Illegal through no fault of their own, some 65,000 undocumented students graduate from the nation's high schools each year. But they cannot get a legal jobs and face enormous barriers trying to enter college to better themselves. Yet America is the only country they know, and, for many, English is the only language they speak.

The book was awarded the 2009 Mildred Garcia Prize for Excellence in Research by the Association for the Study of Higher Education. In 2010, Perez received the Stanford University Distinguished Scholar Alumni Award.

The Center on Race and Social Problem’s annual Reed Smith Spring Speaker Series provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, and members of the community to engage in race-related discussions of mutual interest. Other lectures are planned for April 8 and April 24.

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