Fullerton College will join more than 40 community colleges and organizations across California that will host events for Undocumented Student Week of Action, October 15 – 19. This campaign will advocate for a permanent solution to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that includes a pathway to citizenship, and to provide support and resources to all undocumented students.
The college’s events include a variety of workshops covering financial aid, legal rights, mental health, documentary viewing, and capacity building for educators. It will also include a resource fair of local nonprofit and student organizations and Fullerton College services.
“Contributing to inclusive environments that foster a sense of belonging, is the key to strengthening support for undocumented students,” said Sylvia Pimentel, counseling faculty and coordinator of the Grads to Be program. “There are various ways we can advocate through public education, contacting governmental representatives, voting, and addressing instances of anti-immigrant rhetoric or behaviors. The strategies benefit student success and institutional efforts at increasing retention and persistence.”
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors declared Oct. 15-19 as Undocumented Student Week of Action in a resolution adopted at its September meeting, held less than 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. The resolution notes that the California Community Colleges is committed to providing an open and welcoming environment for all students, regardless of ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status, age, gender, medical condition or socioeconomic status, according to a State Chancellor’s Office press release.
“It is imperative that the California Community Colleges, the single largest provider of post-secondary education in the nation, stand up our students, regardless of immigration status,” said Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “We are committed to collaborating with community organizations to raise awareness about resources, including financial aid, for undocumented students, and we continue to advocate at the federal level for a permanent resolution to this issue.”
Undocumented Student Week of Action encourages individuals to take steps toward advocacy. Throughout the week, students will be encouraged to meet with their Congressional representatives, sign postcards supporting DACA, and register their fellow students to vote.
Throughout the year, the Grads to Be Program provides a variety of services and resources for undocumented students including mentorship, academic counseling, leadership development, financial aid and related workshops to support students through their academic journey. Pimentel said the program has seen an increase in the number of students served since last year with more and more students engaged and taking advantage of resources available.
Grads to Be is hosting these events during the Undocumented Student Week of Action at Fullerton College:
Monday, October 15 – Opening Day
- Commitment Ceremony: 12:10 p.m., in front of the Library
Join Fullerton College President Greg Schulz and guests for the kickoff. An announcement will be made on a recent grant supporting undocumented students.
- Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshop: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Building 200, Room 229
Need help applying for the CA Dream Act? Want to learn how to find and apply for scholarships that do not require U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency? Join us for a financial aid workshop and scholarship tips.
Tuesday, October 16 – Legal Rights
- Resource Fair: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., quad
Join us for our first undocumented student resource fair in collaboration with local nonprofits and student organizations. Come learn about available legal, mental health, and other campus resources.
- Presentation – How to Prepare for ICE on Campus and Workplace Enforcement Efforts: 12 to 1:30 p.m., Building 200, Room 226
The U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP will discuss the parameters and guidelines regarding ICE on college campuses. Faculty, staff and students will have an opportunity to be informed regarding access, limitations, and confidentiality (FERPA). Differences between a judicial vs. an administrative warrant will be covered. Join us for a one-hour presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
- Presentation – Know Your Rights: 3 to 4 p.m., Building 200, Room 229
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a nonprofit, grassroots civil rights and advocacy organization. CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, with affiliate offices nationwide. Its national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, October 17
- Know Your Legal Rights Webinar (Presented by Immigrants Rising): 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., Building 500, Room 520
Learn the legal rights everyone has, regardless of their immigration status. Identify information and resources available to support undocumented individuals. Discussion to follow with Grads to Be staff.
- Explore Entrepreneurship Webinar (Presented by Immigrants Rising): 5 to 6 p.m., Building 200, Room 228
Learn how to work for yourself or your own business, regardless of immigration status. Discussion to follow with Grads to Be staff.
Thursday, October 18
- You’ve Got a Friend in Me Display: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., quad
Join Fullerton College’s faculty and staff as they gather postcards that will be sent to Congress in support of undocumented students and their families.
- Mental Health Workshop – Undocumented Experiences: Resistance and Resiliency: 12 to 1:30 p.m., Building 200, Room 229
Undocumented, LGBTQ+ individuals (UndocuQueer) have been on the frontlines of political debates, particularly over the last four years. These are not parallel movements, but rather intersecting ones in the fight for social justice. The presenter will focus on the intersection of these two identities and supportive practices and share her personal experiences as a queer, undocumented, non-binary woman of color. She will engage attendees in conversation in hopes that sharing of knowledge that ensues can serve as a stepping-stone toward fostering collaboration and unity.
Friday, October 19
- Pizza & Movie Night – No Le Digas a Nadie Documentary (Don’t Tell Anyone): 6 to 8 p.m., Building 1000, Room 1018 | RSVP: http://bit.ly/fullertonWOA
Since the age of 4, Angy Rivera has lived in the United States with a secret that threatens to upend her life: She is undocumented. Now 24 and facing an uncertain future, Rivera became an activist for undocumented youth. Her popular blog and YouTube channel have thousands of views. Her inner strength is a testament to the resiliency that characterizes the undocumented population. Join us for a screening and discussion of this moving documentary.
To learn more about the Grads to Be program and services at Fullerton College, please visit https://grads2be.fullcoll.edu/