A student-centered collaborative initiative at UC San Diego

Raj Chetty Oral History

I interviewed Raj Chetty on May 13, 2020. Raj Chetty is currently a professor at San Diego State University in the English and Comparative Literature Department. In the interview, we discussed his personal experience with having a family friend being detained by ICE which is what propelled him to get involved with Allies to End Detention.

This interview was conducted through Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic which shifted the focus of this project from interviewing the detainees of Otay Mesa to interviewing the individuals within the organization. Chetty is motivated to end deportation and free as many detainees as possible. Chetty wanted to share pa’lante which is a rallying cry that is used to gather by Spanish speaking communities. The meaning of pa’lante is about moving forward and it’s mostly used with social movements.

In this interview, we discussed the toll that Chetty takes when reading the letters of detainees but also when he learns about the injustices that detainees are experiencing with detention centers.

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