Thirteen YAYA’s attended the rally in support of the Florida DREAM Act on Wednesday January 18th, 2012 at Rollins College. If passed, the Florida DREAM Act would guarantee equal access to education, as undocumented students or children of undocumented parents would no longer be charged out-of-state tuition when attending college.
Since many of the farmworkers and children of farmworkers are undocumented, it was very important for all YAYA’s (including myself) to support this cause. A change to the legislation will get us closer to ending discrimination, and will ensure that the youth in the farmworker community is able to afford and attend school, opening the door to knowledge and opportunities.
Despite the rain, there was a great turn out of about 100 people. Several organizations worked together to plan this event, including ACLU of Florida, Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Farm Worker Association of Florida, Florida AFL-CIO, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida Immigrant Youth Network, FOCUS, Hope CommUnity Center, Central Florida LCLAA, National Farm Worker Ministry, Rollins College’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, United We Dream and YAYA.
Some of the YAYA’s tabled and gather signatures and petitions, during and after the event.
The program consisted of several speakers who reminded the audience that education is a right and that everyone, regardless of immigration status, should have access to it. The speakers included undocumented students, community organizers, faith leaders, teachers, allies, union members, government representatives and families.
In the categories of allies and families, the speakers included our own Cole Lee, Mellissa Maniau, and myself (Nadia). We received great feedback on all our speeches. The YAYA’s definitely made an impact during the event, as the speeches were sincere, heartfelt, and compelling.
It was very exciting to see a great diversity of people supporting the right to education and standing up for justice. The event culminated with a call to action to not only sign petitions but to continue the fight. I was proud to represent YAYA and to speak in support of all our undocumented brothers and sisters.