Author Archives: Janice Jayes

Mateo’s Story: Connecting with the Twice-Marginalized

If you are a Q’anjob’al speaker in CU, you are probably familiar with the young face of Mateo Sebastian. In videos shared through social media he has helped the local community keep up with information on the virus, school closures, … Continue reading

Posted in COVID-19, Immigrants | Comments Off on Mateo’s Story: Connecting with the Twice-Marginalized

Visibility and Vulnerability in the Age of COVID-19

While diseases don’t discriminate, social responses to pandemics do. The disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on African Americans in Chicago, the Navajo in the Southwest and the incarcerated across the country highlights the way marginalization contributes to tragically different outcomes … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Food Insecurity, Immigrants | Comments Off on Visibility and Vulnerability in the Age of COVID-19

The Scramble for Libya: The New Normal in 21st Century War

In 2011, then-Vice President Joe Biden gloated to the press that US/NATO actions in Libya had modeled the new normal in warfare: an overpowering air and sea operation that accomplished the overthrow of an enemy government (Muammar Gaddafi’s) without sustaining … Continue reading

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Homewrecker: Trump, the Kurds, and the Grand Strategy We Have Been Waiting For

Donald Trump’s October decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria took his own advisors by surprise, not to mention the Kurdish military units that were U.S. partners in the war on ISIS during the past five years. Perhaps the only … Continue reading

Posted in International, International, Middle East, Syria | Comments Off on Homewrecker: Trump, the Kurds, and the Grand Strategy We Have Been Waiting For

Opposition to the Proposed ICE Dwight Detention Center Continues.

Efforts to halt the construction of a 1200-bed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Dwight, Illinois continue at both the state and local level. The proposed facility would be built and operated by the Virginia-based, for-profit prison company … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Human Rights, incarceration, Refugees | Comments Off on Opposition to the Proposed ICE Dwight Detention Center Continues.

It’s Not an Immigration Crisis, It’s a Global Labor Tragedy

An underclass of “undocumented” workers in the U.S., sweatshops in Asia, child miners in Africa, contract ironworkers in Dubai … we live in a world of globalized labor exploitation. This doesn’t just mean a world where workers in many countries … Continue reading

Posted in labor, Refugees | Comments Off on It’s Not an Immigration Crisis, It’s a Global Labor Tragedy

Securitization in the Heartland: For-Profit Immigration Detention

Dwight, IL, Population 4200. On March 11 the Dwight Village Board voted to move forward with the construction of a privately owned $20 million ICE detention facility on the edge of the town, which is 75 miles north of Champaign-Urbana. … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, incarceration | Comments Off on Securitization in the Heartland: For-Profit Immigration Detention

Contextual Engineering and the Politics of Project Design

How do you teach a group of college students to think outside their own experience when creating infrastructure designs for rural, alternatively developed societies? You take them to the community to live, work, eat, and learn from their clients. The … Continue reading

Posted in Ableism | Comments Off on Contextual Engineering and the Politics of Project Design

Making a Profit off of the Crisis in Affordable Housing

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds discovered a lucrative new area of real estate investment, manufactured home communities (MHCs), and made millions by buying out older mom-and-pop operations and putting new profit-oriented practices … Continue reading

Posted in Housing | Comments Off on Making a Profit off of the Crisis in Affordable Housing

1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

“I want kids to see that it wasn’t just Martin Luther King making things happen in the 1960s, it was local folks here as well. Just as it is today.” Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist, Museum of the Grand Prairie … Continue reading

Posted in 1968, African Americans, African Americans, Environment, University of Illinois, Vietnam War, Youth | Comments Off on 1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

The Real War in Egypt: the Labor Struggle

By Janice Jayes If you missed the exciting Presidential election news out of Egypt this past March, don’t be too hard on yourself: also missing it were 96 million Egyptians. Yes, a few Egyptians showed up at the polls for … Continue reading

Posted in Arab Spring, Egypt, labor | Comments Off on The Real War in Egypt: the Labor Struggle

The Honduran Crisis: Not Quite Your Father’s Oligarchy…

By Janice Jayes At first glance the political crisis in Honduras seems depressingly familiar: a military coup against a left-leaning President in 2009, continued repression of opposition groups, and now a Presidential election so full of irregularities that demonstrators refuse … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Environment, Honduran Election 2017, Human Rights, International, Land, military | Comments Off on The Honduran Crisis: Not Quite Your Father’s Oligarchy…

The U.S. Military in Africa: a Workshop for the Militarization of Foreign Policy

By Janice Jayes After four American servicemen were killed in in Niger in October, social media discussion fixated on President Trump’s insensitive remarks to the widow of one of the slain soldiers and questions about the logistics surrounding the unlucky … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Foreign Policy, International, military | Comments Off on The U.S. Military in Africa: a Workshop for the Militarization of Foreign Policy

The Politics of Looking at Women’s Rights in the Middle East

As someone who has lived in and studies the Middle East I am often asked my opinion on the situation of women in that region. Of course it’s impossible to comment on “women” anywhere, even in Champaign or Urbana, without … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, wonen's rights | Comments Off on The Politics of Looking at Women’s Rights in the Middle East

Foreign Relations, Domestic Security, and the Trump Era

The foreign policy outlook for the near future is bleak, but not just because of the incoming Trump administration’s proposals. Trump’s public statements about rolling back U.S. investments in “soft” issues like human rights or economic development, abandoning multilateral obligations … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, International, military, Trump | Comments Off on Foreign Relations, Domestic Security, and the Trump Era

Battling ISIS and Other Distractions from the Bigger Picture

Current operations to scrub out Islamic State (ISIS) bases have restored American confidence in state-of-the-art military solutions for complex problems, but unfortunately these battles (and the undefined relationship with Russia, Turkey or the Assad regime in the post-ISIS era) also … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, Syria | Comments Off on Battling ISIS and Other Distractions from the Bigger Picture

The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Problem of Categories

The Syrian refugee crisis is ultimately a problem about categories, not numbers. Yes, the numbers are overwhelming. But, unfortunately, after years of tragic stories about the 11 million displaced by the Syrian war, international sympathy is waning even as the … Continue reading

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The Syrian Stage: The Globalization of the Syrian War

Just as the Arab Spring showcased the political possibilities of new forms of communication—empowering political dissenters by allowing them to rapidly share developments and warnings with each other and the world, and breaking the dominance the state had enjoyed over … Continue reading

Posted in Arab Spring, Communication Technologies, Middle East, Syria | Comments Off on The Syrian Stage: The Globalization of the Syrian War

From the Arab Spring to the Syrian Civil War: Looking Again at the Modern Middle East

It’s tempting to put the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War in separate boxes, but like other forms of compartmentalization, that only hides but doesn’t resolve the underlying problems. The dynamics that helped the Syrian War erupt into one … Continue reading

Posted in Arab Spring, International, Politics, Syria | Comments Off on From the Arab Spring to the Syrian Civil War: Looking Again at the Modern Middle East