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International Seminar Series: Climate refugees of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, September 19

young person holding a globe

headshot of Maura Toro-Morn

Maura Toro-Morn

Maura Toro-Morn, professor of sociology at Illinois State University, will lead the next International Seminar Series at noon Wednesday, September 19, in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center. She will present “Climate Refugees in the Global Age of Migration: Puerto Rican Migration in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria.” The event is free and open to the public.

Toro-Morn will discuss the effects of global warming and how it has created a new category of migration known as the climate refugees. Climate refugees are people who have been uprooted by climate events. Her presentation will address how the 2011 Hurricane Maria uprooted Puerto Ricans across social classes. Regarded as one of the most devastating natural disasters that took place in the region, Hurricane Maria left many without a home. In her speech, Toro-Morn will address the larger context of Puerto Rican migration and how the Puerto Rican diaspora mobilized to offer help.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Toro-Morn received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Interamerican University, San German, Puerto Rico, a master’s degree in sociology from Illinois State University, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Loyola University of Chicago. Her research interests include immigration, equality for people on issues of ethnicity, race, gender, social class, and gender specific qualities of contemporary migrations. She received the David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award in 1998.

The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political, and social topics.

International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public, and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The fall 2018 series will focus on immigration. For a full schedule, see the Office of International Studies website.