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JUPS Students Engage in DC Immigration History

Professor Kim Huisman Lubreski provides JUPS juniors and seniors with a unique opportunity for engaged scholarship by incorporating Washington, D.C., and its rich history of local immigrant populations into the curriculum. Students in JUPS 2024, Immigrant Communities: Digital Storytelling, explore both historical and contemporary immigration patterns in Washington, DC, connecting these patterns to broader social justice issues. This educational approach not only deepens their understanding of D.C.’s diverse cultural landscape around immigration but also highlights the challenges and contributions of these communities through the years.

A core component of this course involves students learning about the myriad organizations that advocate for and support immigrants in DC. The one-credit culminates in a digital storytelling project, allowing students to choose their own focus—ranging from organizations and communities to policies, local restaurants, or events. As students share their digital projects with each other, they not only enhance their own learning but also foster deeper engagement with their peers. This exchange not only enriches the classroom experience but also broadens students’ perspectives on a multitude of issues. Adding a layer of peer feedback further elevates this learning process. Students give and receive feedback that helps them improve their projects and also fosters a collaborative learning environment. The class ends with everyone sharing their projects while we enjoy a meal together from Falafel, Inc.

Some examples of recent projects include:

  • Philippine-American History in Washington, DC.
  • The history of DC’s Chinatown
  • Homelessness and immigration in Washington, DC.
  • Palestinian Culture and Food in D.C.