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Examining San Diego Homelessness and Possible Solutions

March 10, 2014

Examining San Diego Homelessness and Possible Solutions

On Wednesday, March 12th from 7:30 – 8:45 p.m., a panel discussion about Downtown San Diego Homelessness: Its Implications and Solutions took place in Room 323.

“Students in my Global Justice, Self-Determination & the Law seminar are examining legal and non-legal advocacy approaches to achieving social justice aims around their neighborhood, country and the globe,” said Professor Maurice Dyson. “As part of the seminar, each must engage in a project that raises awareness and sets out a concrete plan of action for implementing or facilitating positive social change and empowerment to those marginalized communities in society. As part of their project, one group from the seminar chose the issue of homelessnessl.”

As a part of the class, students were asked to create a project that promotes awareness and sets out a concrete plan of action for enacting, or helping to bring about positive social change for marginalized groups. Event organizers Valen Hermiz (2L), Priscilla Askar (2L), Karen Barragan (2L) and Sam Kossack (2L) said they were inspired to create the panel because “too often, society seems to demonize homeless people. Homelessness is an issue that deserves far greater attention and understanding. We believe that we’ve identified key stakeholders in efforts to combat homelessness.”

The panelists provided their insight, and answered questions from the audience. 

  • Thomas Guernsey, Dean and President of Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council member and Former Interim Mayor of San Diego
  • Bahija Hamraz, District Director of the Downtown San Diego Partnership
  • April Joy Galka, Director of PATH with Connections Housing a service and residential community designed to reduce street homelessness
  • Trong Nguyen-Dinh, Co-Owner of The District East Village Sandwich Shop
  • Rafael Castellanos, Port Commissioner

“One thing that Professor Dyson likes to remind us of in class, is that successful social justice movements form broad coalitions of support,” said Kossack. Helping to solve homelessness is one of those issues, and it is something that’s going to require effort from people of diverse industries and backgrounds.”

The panel was open to the public.