Last spring, when SJSU joined as a partner institution in the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, the university was invited to participate in Immigrant Heritage Month.
As one of the most diverse campuses in the United States in a region that has flourished on the hard work of immigrants for decades, I felt excited to lead up a campaign to share the unique and inspiring narratives of Spartans who journeyed from afar to be part of our community.
We got a bit of a late start last June, as the project was presented to me by our chief diversity office a week into the month. I worked quickly to audit existing stories on the university’s website and digital channels that we could repurpose, to identify new people to interview for fresh stories and connected with the digital media team to put together a game plan for graphics that would tie the stories together.
Last year, we highlighted a dozen Spartans of different ethnicities, ages, socioeconomic status, who have lived and contributed to the Bay Area for varying lengths of time. Many are featured in a Facebook album or on our Academic Spotlight blog.
Next week we launch our 2019 campaign with an ambitious plan to highlight connect with 16 Spartans who will share and celebrate their immigrant heritage.