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Exemple

Three days filled with actions took place in the past few weeks in Washington, DC. Each day was filled with the storytelling of directly impacted folks who have bravely fought for their rights in each of their respective states. Now, we have all joined forces yet again, as we have in years past, to demand a pathway to citizenship for all the 11 million people who currently reside in the United States. Decades of activism and sacrifice have culminated to this very point in history. Our gente are chanting, singing, dancing, and telling their stories in hopes that our elected officials listen to them instead of an unelected position whose opinion is simply that, an opinion. 

 

Our team went to DC and marched and chanted in an effort to have their voices transcend through the walls of the capitol and into the ears of the elected officials whose promises have fallen flat. Our team returned with a sense of anger and empowerment:

 

“It was both empowering and angering to be a part of the movement in the fight for citizenship for all. I saw many others doing the same as me. Walking miles in the sun, holding signs, loudly chanting while dehydrated. But we never gave up.

 

 It was sad because I know the politicians we were directing our chants to, were in an office with air conditioning or at home with their families, feeling secure. 

 

We work so hard to be heard but we’re being ignored right now.” -Kathia Sotelo Calderon, a DACA recipient who came to the states at the young age of just 7 years old. 

 

“Lobbying in Washington D.C. as an undocumented person gave me a sense of assertiveness, a right to have a public existence in a country that does not consider me part of its fabric, at least on paper. I have been living in the United States for 30 years and still do not have status. However, the impact of going to the capital of the United States of America will stay with me forever. 

 

And if in the process, we get something done, it won’t be because the governing powers wanted it, it will be because we organized and forced our government to fulfill our true needs.

 

It takes a lot of courage to come out of the shadows and tell the whole world that you are undocumented, it takes even more courage to get on a plane, travel over 2,000 miles, and demand to members of congress that they render you visible and fulfill their promise of providing citizenship for millions. That is agency.” -Rico Ocampo, a DACA recipient who came to the states at the young age of 3 years old. 

 

The fight won’t stop until our gente have access to a pathway to citizenship! Our people are fighting. Our people have fought for decades. They are true Americans. They are true champions. When the people rise up, the government trembles.

 

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Exemple

Let’s get something straight: Immigrants are people too. They have needs. They have families. They are in search of a better life. The situation currently happening along the Southern Border with Haitian migrants is a crisis. A crisis that needs compassion and humanity to be at the forefront of all the efforts to help migrants. The United States, The American Dream, everything that this nation claims to stand for – inclusivity, a life with dignity and respect, the ability to move freely and have a safe home to live in – this is what migrants coming to our country long for.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  – Emma Lazarus, 1883 

This sonnet calls to the world and as a nation. The United States accepted this obligation many years ago but now when our fellow man has come to our shores, we turn them away and meet them with racism and disrespect. 

Throughout history, the Haitian people have been used as pawns in political and social games and have grown distrustful of those who claim to want to help. Currently, the island and all its people are still living in the wake of the assassination of the President earlier this year. Now, the people are not only facing these struggles but also environmental challenges. The island has been riddled with earthquake after the earthquake along with tropical storms. Even though all of these things have happened, the island and its people still sing, they still dance, they still live. 

As they come to the United States, we must remember the help our families needed when they came from their homelands. Immigrants are people. As many organizations and many folks reach out to the community in an effort to help, let’s remind each other that Haitians are a strong community. That they, just like our families that came here before them, will make our existing communities stronger and more vibrant. 

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How far have you gone to protect your family? How far would you travel? Who would you face to ensure that your children could spend another day with you?

Well, our gente has traveled miles. They have faced police and entire administrations to defend themselves and to fight for their neighbors. They have braved an entire country that criminalizes and dehumanizes them and their experiences to provide for their families on a daily basis. After so long, they continue. They continue to fight. They continue to raise their voices. They refuse to be defeated. 

This week the Parliamentarian ruled against creating a pathway to citizenship. With this ruling folks all over the political process believe that the fight for citizenship is over, but our gente does not take no for an answer. Our gente is taking to the streets of DC this week to welcome back congress after their recess. Their welcome consists of marches outside the capitol and around DC. Chants are ricocheting from the walls and windows of the capital city because our people can’t wait another year.  Our people are uniting across the country to fight for each other. To fight for security. To fight for their right to live a life of dignity and with respect. 

From Nevada, Rico, Lalo, Areli, and Marvin are joining their voices to the call for our elected officials to develop a new plan in which millions of people in the states have a path to citizenship.

Rico, a DACA recipient, a father, a husband, a friend, has dedicated his life to the cause, to organizing his community into participating in the political process to ensure that the political process truly reflects the interests of the people.

Lalo, a DACA recipient, a father, a friend, a partner, works day in and day out to ensure that his community has access to fair housing conditions and is treated fairly by their landlords while also fighting to educate the community on their rights.

Arieli, a mother, a partner, an immigrant, came to the states in search of safety. Her search for safety led her to a space where she can use her story and her voice to educate others and to advocate for a more inclusive and more secure future for everyone in her community.

Marvin, a friend, a son, an advocate, has used his voice in school board meetings and in demonstrations to advocate for the rights of students and their families. 

These powerful, educated, passionate voices are marching, demonstrating, and like Rep. John Lewis said, ‘getting into good trouble’ in DC. Their voices, their strength is a direct result of the support of the community. Nevada has a very large Latinx population and with that collective strength, they march on. From Nevada, we wish them peace, protection, and good vibes as they march for our rights. In Nevada, we will be cheering them on as they make history during Latinx Heritage Month. El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido! Si Se Puede!

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Exemple

It’s no secret that there is a discrepancy between the level of health care that communities of color receive compared to that of their white counterparts, however, this reality raises more questions than just ‘why?’. How can we fill the gap? Where can our gente turn to for quality healthcare that at the same time makes them feel safe and welcome? How can our general community members get involved to ensure that their neighbors and loved ones are being taken care of by healthcare providers who genuinely care about their patients? 

 

The answers to these questions do not solely lie on the laps of elected officials. Like most things in life, it takes a village. It takes folks who care to take to the streets and advocate for the things they need in their communities. Access to grocery stores with fresh food, access to specialized medical professionals, accessible medical information in native languages, all these things and so much more come into play when our gente’s health is in question.  

 

Folks who live in urban areas, near highways, or in traditionally underfunded areas of cities are often times the same folks who do not have access to fresh food, or specialized medical professionals in their areas. 

 

These are our realities, but what can we do? Uplift the voices of the community who are directly impacted by health inequity, elected officials who actually grew up int eh areas they are representing so they can act on the things they personally know are missing in their communities. When we get folks into power, we must hold them accountable. 

 

Health equity is a complex topic that directly impacts people of color. The solutions cannot come without the community’s involvement. 

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Thursday, August 19, 2021, | The Youth Power Project and partners took to the streets to continue demanding of the Clark County School District to reallocate funds from the CCSDPD back into the education of our students and the hiring of mental health professionals, counselors, school nurses, and college advisors who are in desperate need on our campuses. At the action, we heard heartbreaking testimonies from both folks present, and those who unfortunately live in fear on account of police presence on their campuses.

Our young people have drafted a plan for the reallocation of funds, but the School District has ignored them and their suggestions even when they attend board meetings. Our young folks are met with racist, xenophobic, homophobic, hecklers at board meetings and on top of being exposed to this hatred, they are pushed to the very limit of the meeting, if they are ever acknowledged by the board at all. Although they have been unable to be heard at board meetings, they are regaining control with the help of their community and parents.

These young folks are our future and they are shaping it to their liking.

Our role as adults, their allies, is to listen to them, to push them forward when they are pushed back, and to help amplify their voices loud enough so that those in power can’t ignore them. Join the youth in their efforts to shape the future of their education, not only for themselves but for every student who comes after them. Join the fight to create a better educational experience for your own children. 

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Here comes August, the month where we gather our children and send them back to school. After last school year where virtual learning brought many struggles for students and parents alike, many families might be happy to finally be able to return to in-person learning. This school year, however, isn’t like other years. Our children are returning to classes during a global pandemic, and we want to ensure that our community stays safe. 

 

The Clark County School District (CCSD) has released a parent guide to help parents be able to check their students before sending them to school in an effort to keep all of our children safe! We encourage you all to make sure your child feels well before sending them to school. In the parent guide, they included 5 questions to ask your child EVERY DAY BEFORE SENDING THEM TO SCHOOL. These questions range in identifying symptoms and having tested positive in the past 10 days with COVID-19. Please pay close attention to your child during the school year so as to ensure that our community and our children stay healthy.

                                               

If your child is 12 years old or older they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s be clear, our children come first. With this in mind, let’s keep our children and others safe as we all are valuable members of the community. For more information on vaccination locations visit: https://www.immunizenevada.org/find-vaccine-clinics 

 

We wish all our scholars returning to classes this semester and school year a very prosperous year and a very passionate good luck from all of us here at Make the Road NV. 

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Exemple

“Remember saving and reusing plastic bags? Remember not being able to leave the table until you finished all of your dinners? These things are all methods of conservation”

 

This last week we turned our attention to Latinx Conservation Week. We had candid conversations about the impact of climate change and our place within the environmental justice space. We took a deep dive into the ways that climate impacts our community and how we impact the climate in our daily lives. We explored the valley and took action all week to get into nature and to give back to the environment that cares for us. We joined partners across the country to bring awareness to the many aspects of the environment that need our protection and support. 

 

Our gente is directly impacted by climate change, but we are busy worrying about other immediate things and we don’t think about the environmental impact of our actions too often, however, there are so many things that we already do within our Latinx community that folks overlook as being methods of conservation. We’ve been conservationists since childhood, but are only now understanding the full scope of impact that our little actions have. Remember the butter container? Remember saving and reusing plastic bags? Remember not being able to leave the table until you finished all of your dinners? These things are all methods of conservation; recycling old containers keeps them out of landfills and reduces the need/usage of fossil fuels that are needed to break that material down, finishing all of the food on your plate reduces the number of greenhouse gasses that are produced by the decaying process of your foods. 

 

Our gente is out in the streets on a daily basis making ends meet by selling flowers, elotes, and other goods. The heat is a direct indicator that our environment needs more help and the impact the heat has on our folks goes further than just a little sweat. Heat-related illnesses run rampant through our community during the summers and with so many folks without healthcare, this puts a strain on our health and on our families who depend on the income that comes from street vending. More can be done to protect our gente in the street and to protect our environment. Join our Facebook group to learn about more ways you can get involved in the environmental justice efforts and to learn more about the environment. 

 

We are having those conversations with our directly impacted community, take a look:

 

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Exemple

A group of our gente joined together on July 2nd, 2021 at the doorstep of the Federal Building in Downtown Las Vegas to call for citizenship for all. Our elected officials, on their campaign trails and during their time in office have claimed to be champions of the people. They have posed for photos and have given half-hearted speeches about the importance of unity in difficult times. Our community has been united for decades in the call for citizenship. They have waited long enough for a system to be reformed to favor them and their families. During the pandemic, a slogan has been paraded around with no backing; the road to recovery, as of this moment, seems like it will be paved by our own community, but won’t include them. A direct pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people who have worked to keep our communities going and who have gone the extra mile in educating our children during a global pandemic needs to happen now.

During the rally, we heard the story of Karla, a DACA recipient, who had to watch as her parents suffered the consequences of the separation from their families. We heard the story of Areli who immigrated for her own safety from her home country. Lalo shared his story of the anxiety he and his daughter feel on account of the insecurity that his status brings. Erika shared her story of power, fear, and courage.

They are true American heroes who fight every day for their right to live with dignity and respect. We stand with them. We will fight alongside them. We will continue to push our elected officials to stay true to their campaign trail promises and create a path to citizenship for the 11 million who call this land their home. We are home.

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Exemple

Our BIPOC communities are facing a challenge like no other. The pandemic and the vaccination efforts have left our communities vulnerable to a deadly virus that sees no difference in people or shows any mercy on account of healthcare availability. Make the Road Nevada has partnered with Immunize Nevada to take the vaccine to where our gente are. Our team and that of Immunize Nevada are dedicated to keeping our community safe. These past few months we have had 2 vaccine clinics where people were able to come and be attended in their native language and were given access to the vaccine and other resources by caring individuals who are willing to go above and beyond to make sure we all come out of this pandemic together. 

At our offices on Lamb and Bonanza, the heart of the Eastside, we saw our gente come with their families from all over to get vaccinated. One of the most common comments our team received was that they felt safer coming to our offices and being with our team than going elsewhere. This brings us so much joy to hear that our gente trust us to care for them on all fronts. We will continue to work for our community and hopefully soon, we can all be together again. Adelante Juntos! Si Se Puede!

 

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Exemple

Our gente are our gente. That being said, this Immigrant Heritage Month and PRIDE Month, we want to recognize the queer immigrants who are fighting for justice alongside us. Their stories are intertwined with the collective immigrant story and they should be heard and told. 

 

Our community faces a lot of challenges regarding race, money, and systematic oppression, but when it comes to queer immigrants these challenges are magnified. By pushing through the exclusion and intolerance they fight to break through on the side of dignity and respect. Fighting for basic human rights and [having them denied] constantly dealing with the confusion and the exclusion that comes with being queer and an immigrant. 

 

The right to a liveable wage and the right to a home is oftentimes not attainable for queer folks, even more so for queer immigrants. According to the American Progress, 15% of trans folks have reported making less than $10,000 a year and gay men earn 10-32% less than heterosexual men with similar qualifications and education levels. 

 

Queer youth, at a young age, also experience the challenges of being queer in regards to mental health and accessibility to resources. According to NBC News, 2 in every 5 queer youth have ‘seriously considered suicide in the past year highlighting the need for more mental health resources among our queer youth. 

 

LGBTQIA+ issues, not only happen in the U.S. but in many countries identifying as queer is life-threatening. Queer folks apply for asylum in hopes of escaping the dangers of their homelands where honor killings and queer shame are the norms. Watch one of the many queer asylum seeker stories below, then watch the second video about the process which LGBTQIA+ folks must go through in order to reach Asylum in the U.S.

Resources

 

 

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