i’m back on the blog . . . now let’s talk about Immigration Reform

Hello Everyone. I took last week off due to other projects, horrible allergies, momentary lack of an internet connection, and tons of other small things. But I’m back and ready to blog about all things girl-related. Today’s post isn’t about my critiques, insights, or rants – today I want to simply document what happened over the weekend across the United States . . . I’m referring to the Immigration Reform Rallies that took place in countless cities on May Day.

I was inspired to write a little something about this after meeting up with some lady friends over the weekend. Caitlin (who blogs at Dark Room) was in town from College Station and Alyx (aka feministmusicgeek) and I took this opportunity to coordinate a lady brunch at Bouldin Cafe (yummy vegan breakfast). In catching up with several smart ladies, one friend shared a touching story related to the rallies. This particular friend is a 7th grade teacher at a middle school in an impoverished area in Austin. Several of her students were watching the latest news developments regarding SB1070. The students talked to my friend, their teacher, about coordinating a walkout from school in order to protest the current policies underway in Arizona. My friend convinced the students to create banners and posters to carry at the rally in Austin rather than cut class, and the students used this time to voice their fears and opinions regarding immigration reform.

Unfortunately, some fellow teachers at her school weren’t as enthusiastic about talking to the students about immigration reform. Moreover, my friend reported that some teachers had no idea what was happening in Arizona (seriously?!) or that protest rallies were planned for the weekend. I salute my friend for encouraging her students to be active participants in the demonstration and for using her classroom as a space that invites students to think critically about our laws and policies.

In reading news coverage of the reform rallies from Austin to Chicago to Oakland to Ann Arbor, it touched my heart to see so many youth photographed at the rallies, often standing alongside their peers and/or their parents. Here are some of the photos that caught my eye:

A youth participant at one of the Immigration reform rallies questions what it means to "look illegal." (image courtesy of reuters.com)

Bianey Iman holds a sign during a May Day rally Saturday, May 1, 2010, in Chicago. (image and caption courtesy of Associated Press)

A young girl in Dallas particpates in the rally. (image courtesy of Associated Press)

Demonstrators clap hands as they listen to speakers during a rally for immigrant rights at City Hall in Oakland, Calif., Friday, April, 30 2010. The rally was organized by Youth United 4 Justice of Oakland who demand to stop ICE raids and boycott Arizona for its recent immigration law SB1070. (image and caption courtesy of the Oakland Tribune)

An image from the candlelight pilgrimage in AZ during the Immigration Reform Rally (image courtesy of reformimmigrationforamerica.org)

As I mentioned I have nothing clever to say here, I merely want to acknowledge, in some respects document as well as archive, the fact that youth participated in the rallies on May Day. Remember these images the next time someone makes a disparaging comment about the youth of today or makes a sweeping generalization about how today’s youth could care less about the direction of this country or what’s happening in their local government. For more photos and recaps of rallies across the country I recommend visiting the blog, Reform Immigration For America. For a youth perspective on the rallies, there’s also this piece by Youth Radio.

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~ by actyourage09 on May 4, 2010.

3 Responses to “i’m back on the blog . . . now let’s talk about Immigration Reform”

  1. Thanks for posting this. Yay politically minded, active young people and yay teachers like our friend.

  2. I love this! I’ve been so impressed with the involvement of young people in this issue, and I hope that more teachers use this opportunity to discuss the issue.

  3. Wow, love is swelling in my heart! Thanks for calling attention to our young folks who are engaged and trying to find spaces in which they can voice their concerns!! One of my students told me about going to the march on Saturday and I was so proud of her.

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