I interviewed Rebecca Bartel who is currently a 40-year-old professor born in Freiburg, Germany and who is teaching religious studies and Latin American Studies at San Diego State University.
Professor Bartel was inspired to pursue peacebuilding by her WWII veteran grandfather and her Anabaptist faith. She lived most of her childhood and adolescence in Canada where she got her undergraduate degree in theology. She attained her Master’s degree in Bogota, Columbia where she spent her 20s, and she returned to Canada to attain her PhD. She moved to San Diego to teach at SDSU and promote social justice in the US, and she joined Allies to End Detention because of the deep connection she has with Latin America and with detention that her partner was also a victim of.
This interview covers topics such as Allies to End Detention, immigration, detention, peacebuilding, social justice, letters from detainees, detention centers, criminalization of immigration, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
I met Professor Bartel in one of the weekly meetings of the Free Them All campaign that I attended to learn about grassroot organizing and to help with what we can as students. The interview was conducted via Zoom in order to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The interview was conducted by Lina Mohammed, a UCSD senior majoring in human biology and interested in social justice and racial equality in the United States and the world.