2019 - Living on the Edge: Causes, Consequences and Actions

CSJ Center 2019 Symposium - Living on the Edge: Causes, Consequences and Actions

Click here to the complete 2019 Symposium Program, which includes speaker biographies.


Monday, January 28, 2019

Screening of “The Florida Project” 

Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

11:20am - 12:50pm - Homelessness - It Could Happen to Anyone, a Discussion on Housing/Landlord-Tenant and Employment Law (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

We are facing a housing crisis in California. Therefore, it is imperative for tenants to know their rights and obligations. The panelists will touch upon important aspects of California landlord-tenant law, discrimination in housing, rent control laws as they exist today, and eviction actions, among other issues. The topic of employment is closely related to housing. To that end, the panelists will address key issues that often arise in the employment context: wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace injuries, workers compensation laws, denial of meal and rest breaks, wage and hour violations, FMLA, etc. The moderators will take questions during and at the conclusion of the session.

Moderator: Nnogo Obiamiwe, Principal at the Law Offices of Nnogo C. Obiamiwe, APC

Panelist: Emmanuel Okojie, Law Clerk, Law Offices of Nnogo C. Obiamiwe, APC


2:40pm – 4:10pm - Food Insecurity on College Campuses (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

Food insecurity on college campuses is increasingly becoming a major concern. This panel will discuss what causes this insecurity, what choices a university can make to decrease it, and how we can all respond to provide the resources needed. 

Moderator: Dr. Jeanne Ortiz, Former Dean of Students, LMU

Panelists: Brooke Duplantier, Food Pantry Coordinator, LMU; Jodi Finkel, Professor of Political Science, LMU; Daniel Tamm, Program Specialist, Sanitation & Environment, City of Los Angeles 


4:20pm – 5:50pm - Young, LGBTQ, and Living on the Streets (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

As the cost of housing continues to surge in California and across the country, an increasing number of young people are experiencing homelessness at alarming rates. LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 25 are 120 percent more likely to experience homelessness than their straight peers, according to a national survey conducted by the University of Chicago. Panelists will discuss the many contributing factors that lead to LGBTQ homelessness, such as drug abuse, depression, family conflict, or chronic absence from school. In addition, panelists will explore what is being done to support this vulnerable population.

Moderator: Lauren Moreno, Director of LGBT Student Services and Intercultural Initiatives, LMU

Panelists: Joey Hernandez, Policy and Mobilization Manager, L.A. LGBT Center; Mimi Hoang, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist, Student Psychological Services, LMU; Nia Clark, National LGBTQ Mentoring Coach, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America


7:15pm – 9pm - Voices of Justice Performance (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

Students from the Voices of Justice class will perform dramatize narratives based on the true stories of human trafficking survivors from C.A.S.T. (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Human Trafficking).


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

12:40pm – 2:10pm – Resilient LA – Biological and Human Interface as a Business and Social Strategy (Hilton 100)

The relationship between human structures and our local environment is fragmented, causing stress and isolation that increases suffering and environmental distress. Dr. Strauss will host a panel highlighting the work of the Los Angeles Biodiversity Project, examining their work and its impact for both business and public policy development.

Moderator: Jeff Thies, Director of Institute of Business Ethics & Sustainability, LMU

Panelists: Dr. Eric Strauss, Executive Director, Center for Urban Resilience, LMU; Isaac Brown, Los Angeles Biodiversity Project


12:40pm – 2:10pm - How Do We Give Back Our Homeless Brothers and Sisters Their Dignity? Practical and Compassionate Suggestions (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

We will hear practical ways members of our homeless community receive compassion and dignity as they search for a place to call home; consider experiences and suggestions from fellow students who serve them; learn about innovative programs and integrated care provided by organizations to assist in recuperating self-dignity and attain lasting stability.  

Moderator: Tom King, Campus Donor Recruiter, UCLA Blood and Platelet Center

Panelists: Caroline Horstmann, Director of Volunteers & Community Engagement, Illumination Foundation; Gina Marie Seriel, Foundress & CEO, Our Father’s Table; Donovan Moini, MAGIS Service Member, LMU; Matt Harper, Organizer, Los Angeles Catholic Worker


2:20pm – 3:50pm – A Home Instead of the ER: There IS Enough Money Available To End Homelessness (Hilton 100)

Chronically homeless individuals often experience serious chronic health conditions and must resort to utilizing hospital emergency rooms. This overdependence on expensive and temporary interventions is an inefficient use of limited healthcare resources, and doesn’t provide for the long-term solutions of housing and services.

Moderator: Jeff Thies, Director of Institute of Business Ethics & Sustainability, LMU

Panelists: John  Maceri, Chief Executive Officer, The People Concern; Heather Tarleton, Associate Professor, Health & Human Sciences, LMU


4:30pm – 6pm – Steps Out of Homelessness (McIntosh Center)

This panel will detail the critical steps people take to get out of homelessness. This will help make tangible and concrete a process unfamiliar to most. In addition, the panel will also include practical examples of ways everyday people can help. 

Moderator: John Paul Ramirez, Campus Minister for Regional Services, LMU

Panelists: John Maceri, Chief Executive Officer, The People Concern; Edward Seim, Software Engineer, Embrace Mobile, LMU Alum ‘17; Lauren Konchan, Technical Specialist, IBM, LMU Alum ‘17; DeSeree Seja, Survivor


4:30pm – 6:30pm - Collaborative Artists Bloc Performance  - BEATSTS (Act 1) by Aurin Squire (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

When a tent city of homeless people is given a 3-day eviction notice by the government, they must scramble to find a way to escape the encroaching bulldozers that will destroy their encampment.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

11:20am – 12:50pm - Causes of Homelessness (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

In this session, the panelists will discuss causes of homelessness, trends over time, and debunk common myths about homelessness.  They will also review the findings of recent studies on the causes of homelessness in Los Angeles and Orange County and how the results have been used (and can be used) to inform policymaking on homelessness. We will also hear profound testimony from a former member of our homeless community. 

Moderator: Rebecca Sager, Associate Professor, Sociology, LMU

Panelists: Peter Lynn, Executive Director, The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority; Distinguished Professor David Snow, UC Irvine; Rachel Goldberg, Professor, Sociology, UC Irvine; Denise Smith, Advocate & Homeless Survivor, Downtown Women's Center


1pm – 2:30pm - Jovenes: Past, Present, Future (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

Eric Hubbard, Jovenes Director of Development, and several representatives of Jovenes youth will present the mission and history of Jovenes, and its programs to find solutions for youth homelessness; how it began as a single shelter for young men in Boyle Heights and grew into a permanent and necessary institution serving communities throughout Southeast LA, focusing not only on housing for youth, but also healthcare, education, employment and trauma recovery. The youth from Jovenes will give personal accounts of the struggles and changes they experienced. Of special interest to the LMU community is a new Jovenes program, The College Success Initiative, to provide housing options and support for homeless community college students.

Moderator: Doris Baizley, Adjunct Professor, Theatre Arts, LMU

Panelists: Eric Hubbard, Director of Development, Jovenes Inc.; Jovenes Inc. Youth Speakers


7:30pm – 9:30pm –  Crossing the Line (Von der Ahe Family Suite, Hannon Library)

Featuring Dennis Apel, founder of Guadalupe Catholic Worker and Deborah Tobola, founding artistic director of Poetic Justice Project

In 2016, Dennis Apel served four months in federal prison for crossing the “green line” during a protest at Vandenberg Air Force Base marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and then refusing to comply with probation. In “Crossing the Line,” Deborah Tobola weaves together a narrative using journal entries written by Apel during his imprisonment that were originally published by the Santa Barbara Independent. Formerly incarcerated actors from the Poetic Justice Project help bring the story of this longtime peace activist to life in a play that is authentic and accessible.