Cushwa Center Lecture: "Practicing Radical Hospitality: Sanctuary in the American Midwest"


Location: Eck Visitors Center Auditorium

Gonzalez PhotoSergio M. González

Sergio M. González will deliver the 2019–2020 Cushwa Center Lecture examining the development of hospitality practices in American Midwestern faith spaces. Through a focus on the history of sanctuary movements within Latinx immigrant and refugee communities, González interrogates how these practices have invoked Christian traditions of hospitality as recognized in the Old and New Testament while advancing a new ethic of radical inclusion that seeks to move beyond merely "welcoming the stranger."

González is an assistant professor of Latinx Studies in the Departments of History and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Marquette University. A historian of 20th-century U.S. immigration, labor, and religion, his scholarship focuses on the development of Latinx communities in urban areas in the American Midwest. González’s first book, Mexicans in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), offered a concise introductory history of Mexican settlement and community formation across Wisconsin. His current project explores the relationship between religiosity, Latinidad, and social justice movements in twentieth century Milwaukee, exposing how Latino immigrants of diverse national, ethnic, and class backgrounds turned to their religious faith and institutions to fashion new identities, create sanctuary, and fight for economic rights. González works to bridge his academic scholarship to broader audiences through involvement in groups such as the Wisconsin Labor History Society, the Dane Sanctuary Coalition, Voces de la Frontera Action, and other local labor and immigrant justice organizations.

The 2019–2020 Cushwa Center Lecture is cosponsored by the Institute for Latino Studies and the Department of Theology.