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Immigration scholar to address race, immigration issues in meat-packing industry

Monday, November 14, 2016

LAWRENCE — An immigration scholar who has examined sociological influence of meat-packing plants in new immigrant destinations will speak the University of Kansas as part of the Center for Migration Research's final public talk of the semester.

Vanesa Ribas, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California-San Diego, will speak at noon Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Divine Nine room of the Kansas Union. She is author of the book "On the Line: Slaughterhouse Lives and the Making of the New South," in which she worked alongside laborers for 16 months in the meat-packing plants and makes the case for greater protection of laborers, especially those in the most vulnerable situations.

Her research interests include international migration, race relations and work. Ribas has conducted ethnographic research on social relations between Latinos and African-Americans in the meatpacking industry of the American South.

Cecilia Menjívar, co-director of the center, said Ribas' research would be of interest to Kansans due to the influence of the meat-packing industry in many communities.

The lecture is open to the public.

Menjívar and Victor Agadjanian, both Foundation Distinguish Professors of Sociology, came to KU in 2015 as faculty to start the KU Center for Migration Research under the KU Institute for Social Policy & Research. The center promotes and coordinates KU research on causes, types and consequences of human migration at the state, regional, national and global levels.