Week-long campaign to promote advocacy and resources for undocumented students


Rosemary Montalvo

Kimberly Garcia, who works at the First Year Experience office, hands out flyers for Undocumented Students Week of Action at the Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The week will advocate and provide resources for undocumented students like workshops and other activities. Rosemary Montalvo/The Union

The second annual Undocumented Student Week of Action (USWA) will be presented at El Camino College from Monday, Oct. 14 to Friday, Oct. 18.

The week-long campaign to advocate and provide resources for undocumented students, such as business and undocumented student allyship workshops, is held across all California community colleges, Dean of Counseling and Student Success, Dipte Patel said.

At ECC, the USWA was organized by members of the Undocumented Student Task Force, a committee of students and staff who are advocates and allies for undocumented students and Dreamers.

During the USWA undocumented students and other members of the student body will have the opportunity to attend a luncheon with UCLA graduate and Dreamer, Manuel Cruz on Tuesday, Oct. 15 and view a screening of the film, “Waking Dream” on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

According to the film’s synopsis, “Waking Dream” is a documentary that sheds light on the struggles that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients experienced after the program was rescinded in 2017.

All students will also have the chance to attend the Student Allyship Workshop, an informative seminar that is focused on spreading the awareness and the academic and social needs of undocumented students.

“It is important to have allies in multiple groups, whether it be peers, counselors, as well as instructors,” Patel said.

Griselda Castro, a Puente Project co-coordinator and counselor, said the USWA will also bring awareness to the legal and support resources that are available to undocumented students at ECC, as well as help that may also be offered to these students at the four-year level.

“There is a campus community willing and able to help,” Castro said.

Castro added that the UndocuEntrepeneur Workshop on Friday, Oct. 18, may be one of the more informative events a student can attend during the USWA due to the opportunity for students to develop a network of connections for resumes and letters of recommendation.

Patel said that the UndocuEntrepeneur Workshop is open to all students, not just undocumented students.

Diego Flores Perez, an undocumented student who attends ECC, is looking forward to the luncheon with Manuel Cruz after being invited to the event through the academic program MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program).

“It is a story of a Hispanic immigrant that graduated from college,” Flores Perez, an electrical engineering major said. “It is not [the kind of] story I hear about a lot.”

Dates and locations of the events held during the Undocumented Students Week of Action include:

Monday, Oct. 14: UndocuEntrepeneur Workshop, 1 to 2 p.m., Industry and Technology Center Room 229

Tuesday, Oct. 15: Dreamer’s Luncheon with Manuel Cruz, 12:45 to 2 p.m., Alondra Room (special invitation only)

Wednesday, Oct. 16: “Waking Dream” Film Screening, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Alondra Room

Thursday, Oct. 17: Student Allyship Workshop, 1 to 2 p.m., Stadium Room

Friday, Oct. 18: Ally Training (high school counselors only)