Monday, November 5, 2012

Whitworth Lindaman Chair to deliver Nov. 14 lecture on immigration reform through Christian perspectives


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On the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the controversial Arizonan immigration law, Whitworth Political Science Professor Julia Stronks will present her second Lindaman Chair lecture, "Christian Perspectives on Immigration Reform," on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Whitworth University. Stronks is a prolific author and thinker who has published numerous articles and books in her disciplines, including the forthcoming So You Want to Be a Christian Lawyer? She will give her lecture at 7 p.m. in Whitworth’s Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-4937.

Stronks’ talk will examine several aspects of immigration reform, including asking her audience to consider whether it is possible for Christians to come to consensus on what policy should look like. She will explore issues such as the border fence, the recent Arizona immigration law and DREAM Act options.

“Immigration reform is a contentious issue, often dividing not just the culture but also Christians,” says Stronks. “Many Christians believe that their faith should shape the way they view cultural conflicts, but it is hard to do this when we don't have a great deal of information about the impact that policy has on communities.”

Stronks’ lecture will be divided into three questions: 1) Do Christians bring anything unique to public policy discussion? 2) Is there any common ground between the right and the left on the issue of immigration reform? and 3) If there is common ground, where might we start in building public policy options?

Stronks' research focuses on faith, law and public policy. During her four-year tenure as Whitworth’s Lindaman Chair, she will be working on several projects related to immigration; sex trafficking; high school curriculum that emphasizes citizenship and lifelong learning; employment rights of faith-based institutions; and what it means to be a Christian lawyer. A number of students are working with Stronks on these projects.

Stronks, who is in her 19th year at Whitworth, has served as director for the Murdock Charitable Trust's $1 million grant for the Lives of Commitment Project since 2001. She is a regular contributor of op-ed pieces in which she analyzes national and regional legal questions and issues for local and national media outlets,. She also is the author of Law, Religion and Public Policy: A Commentary on First Amendment Jurisprudence (Lexington Books, 2002). She is co-author (with her mother, Gloria Goris Stronks, a professor emeritus at Calvin College) of Christian Teachers in Public Schools: A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Administrators (Baker Books, 2000). In addition, she and her mother wrote an e-book, Living in the Fabric of God's Faithfulness: Parents and Children Explain What Works, which is available at www.whitworth.edu/fabricoffaithfulness.

A graduate of Dordt College (Iowa), Stronks earned her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. In 2003, she was honored with Dordt College's Distinguished Alumni Award.

The annual Lindaman Lecture is held each spring and features Whitworth's appointed Edward B. Lindaman Chair, named after the university’s 14th president. The position is an endowed, rotating chair for senior Whitworth faculty who are engaged in significant regional and national academic initiatives and who contribute to public dialogue concerning important social issues. Stronks’ first Lindaman Lecture, on March 28, was titled, “If a Calvinist had Coffee with a Feminist.”

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts: 

Kathy Fechter, program coordinator for political science, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4937 or kfechter@whitworth.edu.

Andrea Idso, interim public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or aidso@whitworth.edu.