French Minorities on the Margins: An International Symposium for Social and Economic Justice

  • 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Power Center, Ballroom A

Join us in hosting French scholar, Hacène Belmessous, author of Petite Histoire Politique des Banlieues Populaires (A Short Political History of Working-Class Suburbs).

Based in Paris, Mr. Belmessous's research concerns marginalized communities in France and their parallel with similar American neighborhoods. He notes the struggles and hardships that many who live in the French banlieues (suburbs) face on a daily basis. His talk will cover prejudice against immigrants, policing as urban planning "control," and the role of Islam in working-class communities. In his presentation, Mr. Belmessous speaks of numerous acts of discrimination faced by French immigrant youth and Muslims. But he also gives examples of resistance and resilience. By "resilience," he means "the capacities of individuals living in precarious, fragile, discriminated-against social environments to change their social trajectory in a meaningful way." These tensions that Mr. Belmessous highlights in France-of class, religion, identity, even the right to vote-are the same challenges we are grappling with here in the United States.