DACA workshop brings students, faculty and staff together to build communities


Olivier Alata

Students stand is support as speakers share their stories about immigration. Sep. 7, 2017

Mahrukh Siddiqui, Managing editor

“Don’t fear the changes, change the fear,” said DVC student Sofia Escalente at a DACA workshop on Sept. 21.

Dr. César A. Cruz, the co-founder of Homies Empowerment, an independent youth development organization in Oakland hosted the event, leading attendees in a variety of exercises focused around how everyone felt about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals repeal.

President Trump ordered the end of DACA on Sept. 5, giving Congress six months to come up with a replacement or he would revisit it, according to The New York Times.

According to Rosa Armendariz, interim dean of student engagement and equity, the DACA workshop was geared towards building communities, building student communities, creating a “brave space” for people to share their reactions and emotions.

When asked to describe what attendees thought a brave space was or what it contained the answers presented were: open-minded, overcoming fear, community and sharing or reciprocity.

“A huge part of activism is to come together and stand in solidarity,” said Diablo Valley College student Kaitlin Dey.

DVC students, faculty and staff who attended also used the event to anonymously share their fears and concerns surrounding the ruling on DACA on sticky notes, reading the notes others left, aloud.

Statements ranged from concerns about what would happen next to Dreamers, to feelings of no longer belonging and fears of being deported.

Students, faculty and staff also expressed concerns of not being seen as fellow humans.

“Build a rapid response team. That’s what we have to do,” said DVC political science professor Albert Ponce, referring back to building a community. “We have to come together and willing to do the work.”

Ponce continued to say that sometimes building a community isn’t just about alerting others to what is happening on campus or in the community but also about “putting our bodies on the line.”

He continued by saying he is committed to doing that but that not everyone needed to be at that point.

A few students shared why they had decided to come to the event and what they felt.

“I come here as an ally. Each and every person regardless of who you are, when you walk on campus you’re family. You protect your family at all costs,” said DVC student, Trey Dao.