Immigration Expert to Serve as Social Entrepreneur in Residence

February 17, 2017

Christina Fialho, the co-founder and executive director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), a national nonprofit working to end the U.S. immigration detention system, will join the Rady School of Management briefly as the school’s first Social Entrepreneur in Residence.

“During my time at the Rady School of Management, I will be leading classes, delivering presentations and holding office hours to empower students and faculty to create change on their campus and beyond,” Fialho said. “I will be educating students about social entrepreneurship and connecting that concept to the lived experience of each student in an effort to foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation.”

Fialho is an attorney, social justice activist and the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants. She was awarded the 2016 Ashoka Fellowship and the 2012 Echoing Green Fellowship in recognition of her innovation and entrepreneurship on behalf of people in U.S. immigration detention.

She serves on the board of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California and the Steering Committee of the Detention Watch Network, and has been recognized for her leadership in California, and was appointed to serve on the California Bar Association’s Civil Justice Strategies Task Force and awarded the 2013 Rockwood Fellowship for a New California.

“Social innovation starts not with an idea, but with the identification of an unmet need within society,” she said. “Only when one fully understands a problem can one begin to think about solutions. The best place to begin as a social entrepreneur is in one's own community. I will be sharing about my social entrepreneurial journey, which began in my community.”

Fialho’s expertise in civic engagement with a specific focus on immigration makes her time at Rady even more relevant and timely.

“The Rady School’s Center for Social Innovation and Impact is very pleased to have Christina Fialho as our first Social Entrepreneur in Residence,” said JoAnne Starr, assistant dean of Graduate Programs at the Rady School. “We see strong student interest in building socially impactful ventures, and Christina brings a wealth of experience in launching and growing a sustainable organization focusing on an important social issue.”

On Feb. 22, Fialho will speak about her work with immigration law and engaging the community. She will also lecture in classes and is available for individual or small group meetings with students and faculty. The event will run from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. in MPR2 at the Rady School of Management.

More about Fialho

Fialho’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Fox News, and on Univision and Telemundo, among others. She is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post, and she has written for MSNBC, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Hill, and others. Her scholarly writings, published by Oxford University Press, the Forced Migration Review, and Springer Publishing, have focused on the intersection of constitutional law and immigration law.

She also has produced award-winning documentary and non-narrated shorts, which have appeared on NPR, in the Ambulante Film Festival in Mexico, and screened at the United Nations in New York City. Most recently, she co-edited a book with poet Alicia Partnoy, Call Me Libertad: Poems Between Borders.

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