The 33rd Mortenson Center Distinguished Lecture- September 21, 2023


The 33rd Mortenson Center Distinguished Lecture featured Dr. Ricardo L. Punzalan, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, and a scholar of archives and digital curation. His lecture “Reciprocity, Reparative Actions, and Decolonial Work” explored the case of “decolonizing” U.S. Philippine materials to transform our digital work to enact reparative actions that connect collections with communities that have been long separated by colonization. View recording at:


Human Library Event- September 16, 2023 Internationalization @ Home!

The Mortenson Center, in collaboration with the New American Welcome Center and the University YMCA hosted a Human Library Event as part of the events featured during 2023 National Welcoming week. The event featured immigrants and international students living in Champaign-Urbana as human books. Each human “book” was available during the event to interact with “readers” and talk to them about their native country. Topics covered in the conversations included among others geographic location, cuisine, languages spoken and culture. The human volunteers were also free to share their story of how they came to the United States or anything else they wanted to share about themselves or their country.  International food/cuisine was offered for sampling at the event.

Eleven countries were featured at this inaugural event: Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Greece, Kenya, Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and USA. In keeping with the mission of the Mortenson Center, the event aims to introduce the concept of “internationalization @ home to the University of Illinois community and to foster intercultural competency and global understanding as well as welcome newcomers to the community while embracing diversity and fostering a sense of belonging.