Undocumented Student Action Week, Dedicated to Supporting a Fair Education, Hosts Multiple Events Districtwide


Mackenzie McNemar, Staff

Undocumented Student Action Week (USAW) will take place statewide from Oct. 18 to 22, featuring guest speakers along with workshops providing support and resources to those in the undocumented community. DVC will be participating in USAW events hosted by Contra Costa Community College District (4cd).

According to Rod Santos, Dean of Enrollment Services at Contra Costa College, one of the goals of this week is “to help increase upward mobility for [the] undocumented community,” who he said are “just as deserving as anyone else of an education.”

Santos pointed out that many undocumented students remain “scared of outting themselves,” and said he hopes the USAW  events will provide support to these students so they can have a better opportunity to succeed in school.

Event Schedule

The first workshop takes place on Monday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be a statewide kickoff event to celebrate 20 years of successes due to the law  AB 540, a California education code that has granted undocumented students who graduated from a California high school resident tuition for college. The event will be led by Immigrants Rising, an organization dedicated to supporting undocumented students.

A webinar discussion about the California Colleges system wide commitment to support AB 540 students will also be held on Oct. 18. The event, hosted by Acting Chancellor Dr. Daisy Gonzales (California Community Colleges), Chancellor Dr. Joseph I. Castro (California State University), President Dr. Michael V. Drake (University of California), and President Kristen Soares (Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities), will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and can be registered for here.

Poet and activist Yosimar Reyes will be featured in “We Never Needed Documents to Thrive,” an Oct. 18 webinar happening from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

DVC will host its own USAW kickoff event on Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Commons Area on the Pleasant Hill campus.

USAW continues on Tuesday, Oct. 19, with the Financial Resources for Undocumented Students workshop, taking place in person from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Contra Costa College’s Fireside Hall.

Also on Oct. 19, the “DACA and Immigration Policy Updates” webinar features Immigration Institute of the Bay Area’s Denny Kasso who will discuss recent immigration policy updates – including the most recent ones made under the Biden Administration and relating to the DACA Texas decision which was passed in July. This event will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., the DVC Dreamers Alliance will host a virtual UndocuSupport Hour. Later that day, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.the Undocumented Student Resources Workshop– hosted by CCC faculty Lorena Gonzales (CCC faculty member in counseling), Itzia Guerrero (Welcome Center and CCC UndocuLiaison), and Alma Cardenas (Admissions and Records) – will clarify resources that are offered to undocumented students at Contra Costa College.

Oct. 20 will also feature a repeat event of “DACA and Immigration Policy Updates” featuring Denny Kasso from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

On Thursday Oct. 21, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m a lecture entitled “The Border is an Open Wound: Violence, Nationalism, and White Supremacy at the US-Mexico Border” will be held online. In it, Dr. Agustin Palacios of Contra Costa College will analyze violence at the US-Mexico border.

Undocumented Student Action Week wraps up with a 4CD virtual closing event, “We are More Than Tragic Stories,” held from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with poet and activist Yosimar Reyes.