Professional Development Courses & Workshops

LEAD (Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers) “Dreaming Without Boundaries” Conference

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The “Dreaming Without Boundaries” conference educates and promotes awareness about “Dream” students and the obstacles they overcome to achieve higher education. Dream students are undocumented immigrants who attend college, usually as the first person in their families to do so. The conference is organized by the group LEAD - Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers.

LEAD “Dreaming Without Boundaries” Conference

   

An (Un)documented Journey

Blanca Hernandez

Paralegal and Anti-Deportation Activist with #NOTONEMORE

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Blanca Hernandez was very young when she immigrated with her family to the United States from Mexico. She has been in the U.S. for 26 years, yet until the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, also know was the “Dream Act”) was passed, she could have been deported at any time. DACA is an American immigration policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. However, Ms. Hernandez believes that other immigrants should have the same protection that she has received from the DACA. While working as a paralegal in Washington, DC, she has become an outspoken anti-deportation activist, working mainly with the organization #NOTONEMORE. Ms. Hernandez’s activism has sometimes taken the form of civil disobedience; in 2014, she interrupted President Barack Obama’s speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Gala. She was escorted out of the room that day, but she clearly will not be silenced in her work for immigrants’ rights.

Presentation Time: 51 minutes

The Backpacks that We Carry on Our Journey Towards Justice

Cesar A. Cruz

Assistant Dean, Secondary Schools Program, Harvard University

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Transcript

Cesar A. Cruz is the first Mexican immigrant male to attend Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in the Doctoral Program for Educational Leadership. He is so much more than that, as he demonstrates in this powerful, dynamic presentation. But at 9 years old, entering the U.S. illegally to be reunited with his mother after 4 years, he was filled with a sense of shame. As he grew up in South Central Los Angles, Cruz felt a sense of not belonging with his “undocumented” status. However, he began to learn his heritage and history – and the irony of “undocumented Mexicans begging for citizenship in their ancestral lands” – what is now the Southwestern U.S., Texas, and California. Eventually, Cruz discovered his “keys to resiliency”: finding his voice, learning his history, and learning resilience strategies. He was inspired to begin the Homies Empowerment Program in Oakland, which works to empower trauma-impacted youth, youth who are gang members or are influenced by gangs.

Presentation Time: 56 minutes