|A share from Mike Wilson, Policy Director at Border Action Network|
|Tuesday, September 18 2012 12:22|
Alex Gibilisco, our Civic Engagement and Organizing Coordinator, and I attended the “Undocumented and Unafraid” Book Tour held on Friday afternoon, September 14, at the Most Holy Trinity Church in Tucson, Arizona. Attendees were welcomed by Josue Saldivar, himself an undocumented youth who came to the United States from Agua Prieta, Sonora in 1993. Josue started school in the U.S. in the third grade not speaking English. He became interested in social justice in high school when he realized that he did not qualify for federal financial aid to college. He is currently finishing community college and is a volunteer with Undocumented Youth In Action. Josue introduced the three panelists; moderator Kent Wong, Director, UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, Fabiola Azuza and Sophia Campos.
The presentation was mostly the oral stories presented by two UCLA grads, Fabiola Azuza and Sophia Campos. Two books, “undocumented and unafraid: Tam Tran, Cinthya Felix, and the Immigrant Youth Movement” and “underground undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out” were offered for sale after the presentations. “Underground Undergrads” was the first book in the country written by and about these young people. Since then, the immigrant youth movement has developed into a significant force nationally. Both books are published by the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education. Information about the books can be found at http://labor.ucla.edu/
Fabiola Azuza was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and grew up in Los Angeles. She is a UCLA grad who hopes to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She didn't know that she was undocumented until she began applying to colleges and universities while she was in high school. One admissions officer told her over the phone. "We're a legal institution and you're not."
Sophia Campos was born in Peru and came to live in Los Angeles, CA at age six. She too didn't learn that she was undocumented until she applied for federal financial aid for college. Not only was she denied financial aid but was also denied on-campus student housing. Sophia is currently a community organizer who "gets to organize every day". According to her, the Dreamers Act failed to pass the U.S. Senate by five votes in 2010 and was pushed by supporters as administrative relief for undocumented youth. Sophia advocates that for the next session of Congress we must develop stronger partnerships with the LBGTQ community and with organized labor, so that "we come out of the shadows together".
Ana Rodriguez of Undocumented Youth In Action here in Tucson, thanked the panelists for their stories and the panelists took questions from the audience. Also in attendance was Matt Matera, Co-founder and Co-Director of Scholarships A-Z, a Tucson nonprofit that raises money for undocumented youth.
It was an interesting and informative event! Border Action Network will have copies in our library of the books if anyone wants to check one out please contact us!
|Last Updated on Friday, November 02 2012 19:29|