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Dreamers are Hopeful for the Future

July 08, 2020 by CalMatters

Gaby Encinas was just as surprised as she was ecstatic when she learned of the Supreme Court’s June 18 ruling that the Trump administration could not immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

 

The program, established in 2012 under President Barack Obama, protects undocumented immigrants (Dreamers), who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as children, from deportation, and allows them to work legally in the U.S.

The ruling was surprising to many, including Encinas, Fresno State’s Dream Success Center coordinator, who had braced for the worst.

 

“I saw the announcement, and I was very surprised because we were not expecting that ruling. So the minute I saw it, I started contacting the attorneys we work with to make sure I was reading it correctly,” Encinas said.

 

The ruling affects an estimated 600 students at Fresno State who visit the center to receive counseling and academic advising.

 

“We may not have won the war, but we’ve won a battle so we should be celebrating that we’ve won a portion of it,” said Maria Zamora, a Dreamer studying criminology.

 

Zamora said the possibility of DACA ending was frightening and confusing to her. She relies on the Dream Success Center for information, and she said knowing Fresno State has a significant number of Dreamers who have services available to them gives her hope that she will be able to obtain her degree and work in the community.

 

Chicano and Latin American studies professor Dr. Luis Fernando Macias’ research focuses on immigration, particularly educational access for undocumented students. He believes many such students are resilient and have promising futures.

 

“For me, it is important to look at issues that our immigrant students largely face, specifically those that are of Latino heritage, and even more focused on those that are largely undocumented because their struggles are very particular and their activism and their campaigning has been so important,” Macias said.

 

Macias, too, was surprised to hear about the DACA ruling, and he said the future of DACA is still uncertain so it’s important to be educated on the topic even for those who are not directly affected by the ruling.

“Oftentimes in our communities there’s a lot of misinformation. So if we are able to, as professors, relay reliable and factual information to our students, they can spread that informed message in various communities,” Macias said.

 

History graduate Emily Rivas was not a DACA student but is involved in the national organization Define American. In November she traveled to Washington, D.C to march in front of the U.S Supreme Court during the DACA oral hearings.

 

“In that 23-hour trip, we made so many connections, met so many people, heard so many stories. And I know I left there as a young Latina woman feeling empowered and feeling like I could take on anything in this world, and I can’t imagine what DACA recipients are feeling today,” Rivas said.

 

As an Associated Students, Inc. senator, Rivas was an advocate for immigrant students. In the spring semester, ASI passed a memo to give $25,000 to the Dream Success Center to be used for services to undocumented students including DACA recipients.

 

“I feel like being in student government, being allies and putting in the work is definitely an exciting moment that many of us are very humbled at the fact that work does pay off, and, even when you feel defeated, there are those glimmers of hope. And although there’s so much work to be done, I think right now we’re reveling in it, how amazing it feels.” Rivas said.

In November, history graduate Emily Rivas (left) traveled to Washington, D.C to march in front of the U.S Supreme Court during the DACA oral hearings.

"BLACK vs. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION" Virtual Social Justice Bootcamp (August 3-7, 2020)

This FREE week-long Virtual Bootcamp will immerse students in social justice issues and specifically encourage them to use their voice to self advocate. We want to provide students with an opportunity to learn in a safe encouraging environment that centers their specific experiences. Through informative and interactive workshops, culminating in a group project, students will improve their critical thinking and communication skills, and learn to work together as they study the social justice movement to reform the educational system for Black students.   In addition, students will have an opportunity throughout the week to discuss other societal conditions that affect their educational experience in their respective communities and the broader Black community in California and the nation.

 

Bootcamp Issue Advocacy Group Project

Participants will work as teams to successfully plan and execute a group presentation that will stream live on Facebook and YouTube.  Students will develop the skills to effectively plan and disseminate their messages to their community. Each day, time will be allotted for participants to delve into specific issues they are most passionate about as our volunteers guide them in preparation.  Each group will be responsible developing a strategy, and a communications plan for a successful LIVE Broadcast.

 

Major Program Goals

 

Learn how to effectively use their voice (ability to speak) to communicate their concerns

*  Achieved by understanding why it’s important to use their voice (what’s at stake if they don’t)

 * Understand the Three Ps – players, process, and the policies.

 

Have confidence using their voice

Achieved by knowing the law, policies on the books

Understanding their rights (as students, as parents) & being empowered to act

 

Establish relationships with people who can inspire them, help them get where they want to go.

*  Get parents on the same page

*  Reinforce the support networks so they can access people who care.

 

Skills to Build/Enhance

* Critical Thinking

* Public Speaking

* Reading Comprehension

* Writing

 

Why is this Bootcamp Important?

* The Public Education System is failing Black Students in California and Nationwide

* Achievement Gap

* Disproportionate Discipline

* School to Prison Pipeline

* Underfunded schools

 

In order to address these issues and change outcomes, it’s important to understand who makes the decisions, how the decisions are made, and when they’re made. It’s also important because you need to know who to hold accountable for how Black children are educated and treated by the educational system.

 

Student Eligibility Requirements

•    Must commit to attending scheduled sessions for ALL FIVE days.

•    Open enrollment  (Nationwide)

 

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