CSUB's "Camp to Campus" documentary premiered Feb. 5th; available for free screenings

The "Camp to Campus" documentary premiered at CSUB on February 5, 2013, in the Dore Theatre. The 90-minute film focuses on first-generation college graduates who come from a migrant labor background.

The "Camp to Campus " project is funded by a $10,000 grant from Cal Humanities' Community Stories Fund, along with $15,000 in matching funds from CSUB. In the spring of 2012, a diverse group of more than 50 people responded to an initial survey. They shared their experiences of growing up as the children of migrant laborers-some living in labor camps, and some working in the fields themselves- making the journey to college, and succeeding there.

From among the respondents, fifteen people were interviewed this summer and fall for the film. Representing a range of professions, the interview subjects include descendants of the Mexican Bracero Program of the 1940s to '60s, as well as the children of more recent migrant laborers. Excerpts from their interviews will be posted on this website in the coming weeks-stay tuned.

"By gathering and sharing these stories, the documentary offers insights about how people chose to leave the fields behind and attain higher education - and, more broadly, how first-generation college students negotiate different worlds," said Marit MacArthur, project director and Associate Professor of English at CSUB. "What struggles have they faced? What were their motivations? And how have they succeeded?"

Throughout February and March, the "Camp to Campus" documentary will also be shown at local high schools and community colleges, hosted by members of the grant project team from CSUB, who will facilitate discussions of the film. A calendar of events related to "Camp to Campus will be regularly updated on this website. (If you would like to arrange a screening for your organization or community, please contact Dr. MacArthur at mmacarthur@csub.edu or at 661-654-6503.)

High school and community college students will have the chance to compete for cash prizes and scholarships to CSUB in an essay and video-essay contest about the documentary. The prompts for the essays will be posted on this website in January, with a deadline for submission of April 29, 2012.

WHO'S INVOLVED - The Project Committee

The director of the documentary is Fabian Euresti (B.A. in English, CSUB, '07; MFA in Film Directing, California Institute of the Arts, '10), who himself comes from a migrant labor background. CSUB has enlisted multiple partners to reach out to potential participants and audiences, including the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which supports migrant farmworkers or their children during their first year of college, as well as the national CAMP Alumni Association. The interdisciplinary project committee at CSUB includes Jesse Sugarmann, Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Media; Douglas Dodd, Associate Professor of History; Aaron Hegde, Associate Professor of Economics; Jennifer Burger, Public Affairs Coordinator; Brad Ruff, lecturer in English and AVID Coordinator for Kern County; Maria Escobedo, Director of CAMP; Curt Asher, Interim Dean of Walter Stiern Library; and Richard Collins, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.

FUNDING SOURCE - Grant Background

Community Stories is a competitive grant program of Cal Humanities, an independent nonprofit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Grants are awarded to projects that give expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California's places and people to ensure that the stories can be shared widely.

"With our state's incredible diversity, fostering communication and connecting people to a range of ideas is vital for our general welfare," said Ralph Lewin, president and CEO of Cal Humanities. "Our grant award enables awardees to pursue the important work of engaging new audiences in conversations around stories of significance to Californians."

Since 2003, Cal Humanities has supported approximately 400 story projects and granted over $2.6 million to enable communities to voice, record, and share histories - many previously untold or little known. For more information on Cal Humanities, visit www.calhum.org.


If you would like more information about the "Camp to Campus" documentary, or would like to arrange a screening for your organization or community, please contact Dr. MacArthur at camptocampus@csub.edu or at 661-654-6503.

This project is made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit www.calhum.org.

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