This meeting of URBAN LA included a presentation by Jorge Gutierrez of Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP), updates about Dream Summer, discussion about next steps in creating online communication tools, and discussion about inviting members of student groups whose work focuses on access to opportunity for immigrant youth.
2. Presentation by Jorge Gutierrez, Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP)
- Queer immigrant youth are playing a very key role in the fight for immigrant rights
- At the United We Dream (UWD) national convening in December 2012, immigrant youth adopted a platform to include LGBTQ families in the push for immigration reform.
- This convening focused on strategizing, dialogue about how LGBTQ folks are left out of the immigration dialogue, and building alliances at the national and local level.
- No other organization is working on the intersectionality of queer and immigrant rights
- Intersectional organizing will play a crucial role. This entails learning from the victories of other campaigns, such as those focused on marriage equality and in-state tuition in Maryland during the past elections.
- Jose Calderon: In what ways can URBAN LA support the work of queer immigrant youth? Conducting research, hosting events on campuses, and helping generate momentum are several strategies are several ideas.
- Kent: Elements of the immigration reform debate such as e-verify, border protection, and employer sanctions are very dangerous. QUIP offers an opportunity for us to also denounce these dangerous points.
3. Updates on Dream Summer and how URBAN LA participants are supporting these efforts and immigrant rights movements. This is a critical point in time for mobilizing immigrant youth.
Next steps in supporting this movement
- Jose Calderon: It is important to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) clinics and connect organizers with attorneys. Next week there is a forum on drivers licenses. There is also a petition to support the driver licenses efforts. Mayra, a student, is taking field notes and engaging in participatory research. Two theses have also been written about the dining hall workers at Pomona College.
- Saba Waheed: Community Scholars, research on low-wage workers. Call for proposals from the Allied Media Conference.
- Amy: Health policy and health disparity in Long Beach. Looking at the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the impacts in the central Long Beach area.
- Alvaro Huerta: Teaching an immigration class at UCLA. Plans to reach out to Improving Dreams, Equity, Access, and Success (IDEAS) student group members at UCLA. Students in the course have the option of doing participatory research with this organization. The goal is to create work that will be useful to IDEAS.
- Preeti: Currently in the preresearch phase. Looking at the Chinatown community after the mobilization against the building of Walmart.
- Evelyn: Takes part in different projects at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. One of the projects is looking at the Figueroa corridor and will develop a communications strategy through participatory research. Another project focuses on revitalization of the river and how to integrate the community.
- Jose Hernandez: As an undergraduate student, worked on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Secure Communities (SCOMM) program.
- Alma Castrejon: Was invited by Martha Escobar to participate in a panel on storytelling at California State University Northridge. She will also present with Sofia Campos at Garrett’s class in late March.
- Jesse Diaz: Working on dissertation about the three insurgencies on immigrant rights.
- Kent: Two academic initiatives are taking place at the Center for Labor Research and Education at UCLA. Victor Narro is leading research on worker centers. He is also teaching a two-quarter class with Reverend Lawson focusing on non-violence and social movements.
4. Local Organizing of URBAN
Progress has been made in developing a Facebook page and website to disseminate the work that is being done, create different arenas of exchange, and share community-based research/teaching results, methodologies, and funding opportunities.
- Ideas/suggestions: Google Sites (enough to get us started), a wiki, WordPress. A good example is Magnolia Place Community Initiative which sends out email blasts and has a website with blog capability
- Need: Venue for sharing research and resources, spreading the news about key events, and advertising job opportunities. Would also serve as pipeline for graduate students.
- Kent: There has to be a motivation for folks to get engaged. Need to offer a reason for people to communicate.
- Identify other organizations that URBAN LA should connect with in the next few weeks. Locally, there are great initiatives taking place now (ie: Enrique Ochoa, Immigration Research Network, Immigration Southwest Conference). It’s important to connect with other organizations to share resources and not reinvent the wheel. Who else should we be talking to?
- A good model is the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium (PRIEC) at the University of California Riverside. Look at their network and website.
- Jose C. – should we invite them to our meeting?
- Next steps: Amy will contact PRIEC and Jose will start conversations with Enrique Ochoa.
Discussion about beginning to invite community participants or partners
- The URBAN Boston Node has started to invite community members.
- Alvaro: Invite an IDEAS member from UCLA and USC as well as students who are members of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA).
- Kent: When we start talking to other networks we can explore having a joint event that would focus on how organizations have been able to benefit from research that is a combination of academic efforts and grassroots work.
- Invite Victor Narro and a worker leader to the next meeting
5. Next Meeting Date and Place
Saturday, April 27, 2013 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at UCLA Labor Center
Annenberg School at USC: Series of seminars. First seminar is on Monday, February 25 at noon.
Image by United We Dream, an organization whose work was discussed at this meeting