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GCSW Faculty Member, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Joins Panel Discussion at Harvard to Address Public Health Crisis along U.S.-Mexico Border

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 July 30, 2019

(CAMBRIDGE, MA) -- This past week in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) Associate Professor, Dr. Jodi Berger Cardoso, was invited to join a Harvard Global Health Institute panel titled "The Public Health Crisis on the U.S. Border: An Urgent Conversation" to discuss the public health crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border.

With over 15 years of clinical experience working with immigration populations, Dr. Cardoso's research has largely focused on how trauma and stress during the migration process can significantly affect the mental health of Latinos and their children.

"I became very active this work between 2012 and 2014 [when] 68,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum. As a trained social worker, and someone who specialized in the treatment of children, I was very worried about the well-being of children and also about the capacity for attorneys who are not trained in mental health to hear the stories and to adequately obtain the trauma narrative so that they can put together an effective case in asylum court...so I began to volunteer in this context," Dr. Cardoso powerfully stated in her opening remarks.

Dr. Cardoso was joined by Teresa Betancourt, ScD, MA (Boston College), Elora Mukherjee, JA (Columbia University), Sural Shah, MDMPH (Rutgers University) and Sarah Sherman-StokesJA (Boston University) to collectively share their insights, experiences and findings in caring for migrant children and families.

Dr. Cardoso went on to close her remarks with the shock she experienced when she visited a residential housing facility for unaccompanied minors and children in Barcelona. "They weren't detained. They came and went." she said. "This issue of detention with unaccompanied minors and children--this is a situation that we have created with our policies, not one that is adopted across the globe."

WATCH the pre-recorded live panel discussion in its entirety courtesy of Harvard Global Health Institute, here.

-A. Daniel Perez