CSUB's "Camp to Campus" available for free screenings

The "Camp to Campus" documentary premiered at CSUB on February 5, 2013, in the Dore Theatre. The 60-minute film focuses on first-generation college graduates who come from a migrant labor background. A version with Spanish subtitles is available.

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 in the summer and fall of 2013 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 are posted on this website under "Meet the Interviewees" link.

"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?"

In 2013 the "Camp to Campus" documentary was shown at local high schools and community colleges, hosted by members of the grant project team from CSUB, who facilitated discussions of the film. 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 competed for cash prizes and scholarships to CSUB in an essay and video-essay contest about the documentary. The winning entries are posted on this website.

The Project Team

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 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 included 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.

Cal Humanities

This project is made possible with support from Community Stories, 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.

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