From October 19-23, Skyline College held its 3rd annual UndocuWeek of Action, this time in a virtual setting. Without tasty snacks and therapy dogs – and with the stress of the November 3 election looming – there was a decidedly more serious tone to this year’s events.
New Student Club Formed: F.I.R.E. Significantly, Skyline College students met and established a new club, FIRE – Fighting for Immigrant Rights & Equity – and elected their first president, Oliver Eliastinoco. He explained:
“More than a club, our goal is to establish real tangible resources for students at Skyline, especially as we’ve moved into a virtual environment, and to see to actively reaching and encouraging undocumented students. FIRE will be inclusive of allies, undocumented and immigrant students, working to highlight the true diversity of students on our campus living with an undocumented status – these include Asian, Filipinx, African and Middle Eastern students as well as Latinx. These are voices not traditionally spotlighted, however these stories must be told.”
UndocuWeek Webinars – A Rich Source of Information. The California Community College (CCC) system and its partners sponsored daily webinars. Adjunct faculty member and Grove Scholars Counselor Trisha Tran shared her experience participating in a webinar for counselors.
“Things really resonated. The talk provided a gentle reminder for counselors to be active advocates for Dreamers, to be “hope drivers.” The webinar explained that the language to use with students is that their top career choice may not be available now, however, so much may change by the time they’re ready to join the workforce, it may be possible then. The webinar concluded by asking counselors and allies to decide: what actions will you take to make a difference?”
If you weren’t able to participate, all webinar recordings are available here.
Allies Came Together. At last year’s UndocuWeek, allies and students came together and built a “Wall of Support” in the Library that included personal immigration stories, students’ ICE protest posters and pictures of Skyline employees displaying “I am an unafraid educator” signs. This year, more than 25 employees posted their photo statements to create a virtual wall of support on the Dream Center’s Instagram page.
Change the Subject. If you missed the Library’s screening of Change the Subject, A Documentary about Labels, Libraries and Activism, featuring undocumented student activists at Dartmouth College, you can watch it here. The film is also available for you to show in class as long as you request permission from the filmmakers ahead of time: firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for information about future screenings by FIRE as well as the Library.
Here’s What Allies Can Do. If you’d like to become a more involved ally for our undocumented community, here are some ideas.
- Join us for the Dream Center Task Force’s next November meeting by emailing your interest to Jessica Silver-Sharp <email@example.com>
- Contact Dream Center Coordinator Pamela Ortiz Cerda to subscribe to the Dream Center Newsletterof upcoming events and resources <Ortizcerdap@smccd.edu>
- Make a donation to the Skyline College Dream Center Fund, an emergency fund just for Skyline College students and Dream Center programs.
- Find an hour to watch the webinarthat best pertains to your role on campus.
- Support students with direct referrals to the FIRE Club, to Personal Counseling, to Skyline’s freeImmigration Legal Clinic, and of course, to the Dream Center.
Thank you for your continued support!
-The Skyline College Dream Center Task Force.
Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp