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The People Affected

The subject of DACA is more than a piece of legislation, it is more than statistics, it is the stories of our friends and families whose struggle often gets criticized for having come to the states illegally. Those who do not qualify for DACA are left with an unnecessarily more difficult way to achieve citizenship and are excluded from an idea of ‘exceptional undocumented youth’. This idea of exceptionalism comes from the many requirements that a person must meet in order to qualify for the DREAM Act. These requirements include having at least a High School diploma, having no serious convictions, and being of ‘good moral character’. These requirements feed the narrative of the good versus the bad immigrant. These ideas and labels promote division among the immigrant community and create a false perception of the undocumented and documented immigrant community.

Our families and friends have DACA, others don’t, but either way, they are human and are deserving of respect and dignity. Their stories play an important role in the grander immigrant story. 

Audrey lives in Las Vegas and identifies as a DREAMer. For her, like many others, the term brought with it a sense of belonging in a world where she felt as though there was no place for her. Being born in another country and brought to the states as a young child she grew up in the states, lives in the states, has a life in the states, the states and life here are all she knows;

“ I don’t feel like an immigrant, this is my home, this my space, this is my culture, this is all I know, I’m not an immigrant. I don’t know anything else.”Audrey, DREAMer and Make the Road NV’s (MRNV) economic organizer.

For those who do not qualify for DACA, the reality is far more daunting as they have no protections against deportations, are left with a more difficult way to citizenship, have to find jobs willing to pay them in cash, and are oftentimes subject to abuse. Due to their fears of being deported, these abuses sometimes go unreported. This unfortunate reality is lived on a daily basis by many. An MRNV member identifies as undocumented and ‘feels as though there is a target on her back’. The term DREAMer to her reflects a dream that she doesn’t want to be her life. She wants it to be her reality, a path to citizenship, a safe job, a safe place for her family. 

DACAmented folks often are met with questions about their status and are criticized for not being a citizen. These questions may come with positive intentions, however, they produce emotions of frustration and of hopelessness as a result of the difficulty to navigate the immigration system,

“People have been fed an idea that [the immigration system] works and that it is a straight line to citizenship, but it isn’t.” Lalo Montoya, political director of MRNV, member of the DACAmented community.

When asked about what the documented community can do to help the fight for citizenship, Lalo “Be an agent of change with me [ I encourage you] to imagine a country that doesn’t yet exist. Fight with me to make it happen. I need to know that you are gonna shield me from deportation, that you are gonna be a part of the movement, [not] just be a bystander. I’m not asking you to lead [the movement], I’m asking you to [help] fuel it. Reimagine the country as what it should be. Don’t just watch it happen, be a part of it. Don’t feel that you can’t speak up because you are not directly impacted.”

DACA is in no way perfect, but it does alleviate some of the fears that come with being undocumented. Our community deserves to work in a safe environment, earn good wages, have equal access to help, and should be able to live without fear for what may come. Our families are not at fault for the lack of a path to citizenship. This week we want our DACAmented family to know that we hear you, we fight alongside you, and we will stand with you and before you in this fight to citizenship, this path to dignity and respect. Join our fight and consider donating to the DACA fund to help those in our community renew their DACA. 

Call to action for DACAmented community- urge those who can vote to vote, don’t give up, we are with you!

For info on immigrant justice and MRNV please contact us at amigxs@maketheroadnv.org 

To donate to the DACA fund:  http://bit.ly/DonateMRNV  

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Hispanic heritage month has begun and here at Make the Road NV, we have decided to elevate and celebrate every aspect of our heritage by making it Latinx Heritage month; the definition of Hispanic is “relating to Spain or to Spanish-speaking countries” purposely leaving out many indigenous people in Latin America that never spoke Spanish. As a step toward inclusion, we have included all our Latino/a/x brothers, sisters, transgenders, and gender-nonconforming kin into the celebration. We are brown, we are proud, and we are familia. For the duration of the month from September 15th and through October 15th, we will be sharing our stories and celebrating our roots where power and beauty were first instilled in our hearts. We hope you join us on this journey of learning to embrace, love, share and explore our heritage as it holds many beauties in the forms of art, music, poetry, clothes, food, and life.

We are a collection of the stories waiting to be heard, and now we have the responsibility to those who will come after us to tell those stories. 

– Who we are –

We are AfroLatinx people whose roots lie in a land that has influenced many other cultures. We are the people of music, art, and family that stretches to every part of the planet. We are la gente del mundo, the sun-kissed children. 

We are indigenous people who remember the days when the sun came over the horizon. We sang the first songs and painted the first sunsets. Our people cultivated the land and shared its fruits with those who came from across the waters. We held this land and gave birth to a new people, a new life, a new beginning. We are proud to be.

We are proud to have seen and to share the tales of when the stars took their places.  

We are a beautiful collection of the power of unity but we must not let ourselves be divided by old ways of thinking, colorism, homophobia, transphobia, and machismo weaken our strength. Rhetoric like ‘mejorar la raza’ damage the self-image and must STOP. Unknowingly, we have accepted and participated in colorism with assigning nicknames to our families and friends that describe their color. ‘prieto/a’, ‘guero/a’, ‘indio/a’, moreno/a’, etc… these names and these ideas of one tone being superior or preferred to the other are what inhibit our communities from being truly united. This Latinx Heritage Month we want to begin the work to break down these damaging views so that future generations of Latinx folks are treated with dignity and respect. 

In the US, many of us found the borders move around us, while others had to sacrifice their lives from all parts of Latin America to cross harsh terrain and endure discrimination to provide a better life for their families. We are survivors. We work from the fields to your own homes, to the kitchens of your favorite restaurants. We withstand hate and xenophobic rhetoric because we want a better life and future for our families that are filled with opportunity and life filled with dignity and respect. Our culture is in our blood and home is where we plant our roots in. We’re immigrant strong and we’re here to stay.

We invite you to join us as we explore every section of our heritage. All are seen, everyone is included, all are wanted and all are needed. We are all part of the story of our familia. We are continuing the traditions of our roots. We are unified with our brothers and sisters contributing to the many colors and branches of our family tree. Our beginnings are bloody, but our future has never been brighter. Our contribution to the global society has never been bigger. We are la gente unida, we remain a pueblo true to its roots. Welcome to Latinx Heritage Month.

Follow our Instagram during Latinx Heritage Month to see our DACAmented member leaders share their day during our Wednesdays IG Story TAKEOVERS! Make sure to check out our Social Media for important information and upcoming event details.

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For Immediate Release: 

July 21, 2020

Superintendent Jara Truant in Meeting with Latinx Parents, Students and Educators

Las Vegas, NV– Monday, July 20th, Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) members, consisting of parents, students, and educators, were set to meet with Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara to discuss the reopening of schools within Clark County amidst the pandemic. When the Superintendent arrived on the hour-long zoom  27 minutes late, MRNV members made the decision to reschedule the meeting. MRNV agreed to take the meeting with Dr. Jara when he requested on Thursday afternoon that he have the chance to hear from members prior to tomorrow’s board meeting. Dr. Jara wasted our members’ time. As the Superintendent of the 5th largest school district in the country, our community demands more respect than this.

The topic of this meeting regarded not only the health and safety of students and staff but of their families as well. Parents were ready to ask questions about the safety of their children, something that each and every one of them has had in their mind since the initial closing of the schools. While the Clark County School Board of Trustees argue over the past few weeks, there hasn’t been a space for monolingual Spanish speakers to voice their concerns about the reopening plans. The lack of space that has been held for Latinx families in a 47% Latinx school district is absurd and when the rare opportunity arrives it comes with no consideration for the community’s time. This is unacceptable and must change, we need more opportunities for our community’s voices to be heard. 

“Our members were extremely excited to have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Jara, Our members worked diligently over the weekend on their questions and statements. This was the first time many of our young leaders were supposed to have the opportunity to speak to a person in power, someone who has direct influence over their futures. Instead, they were met with disrespect. Our members’ time is valuable and they deserved better.” Leo Murrieta, MRNV Executive Director 

We hope Dr. Jara prioritizes our next meeting and that CCSD as a whole creates more opportunities for the Latinx community to use their voice. 

“It’s really embarrassing how I as a senior in high school has more of an understanding of how precious people’s time is and how valuable one’s word is. If I even start a meeting late with the J4NG  program that I’m in, I’m gonna get in trouble for starting that meeting late and there’s gonna be consequences to follow after that. I’ve been told that one’s word is all that they have. It’s really important to stress how I (personally) think it’s really selfish and inconsiderate that our time wasn’t valued.” Evelyn Hampton, YPP member & CCSD Student

“I was waiting for the opportunity to ask a question around the safety of my child and the community as the schools reopen but now I just feel disrespected. Now I can’t help but wonder if Superintendent Jara even cares if he is this late.” Areli Sanchez Morales, CCSD Parent & MRNV Member 

“I was impressed when I learned that Dr. Jara had reached out and asked for this meeting. Needless to say, I was disappointed when 15 minutes after the meeting began, he replied to a text one of the staff sent, stating that he would be tardy. A total of 27 minutes late to the meeting that he asked for was a disappointment. I’m left thinking, would he have texted us at all if we hadn’t texted first? I felt as though he didn’t value our time.” Mario Wolthers, CCSD Educator & MRNV Member 

 

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The Supreme Court decided that the current administration’s attempt to dismantle DACA and its protections was unlawful and struck it down. This victory for the DACAmented community has given us hope and drive to continue the fight for a clear road to citizenship. With this decision, renewals are being accepted, however, with this ruling the fees to do so may rise from the current price of $495. Many folks have lost their jobs and thus renewing the DACA of their children may be out of reach. Given this reality, we ask that you consider donating to our LV Dream Fund to help alleviate the pressures of financial hardship felt in these trying circumstances by our DACAmented families. All of the funds will be used to pay for fees related to renewing and applying for DACA.  http://bit.ly/MRNVdonate

 

Make The Road Nevada fights for social justice. We stand with immigrants, the DACAmented, the undocumented, the LGBTQIA+ community, the Black community, and the working class. We stand with every community that faces injustices and we fight for our Nevadan community to become a better, more inclusive, and respectful community. Join us in our fight for equality and justice! Follow us on any of our social platforms.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020 Make the Road NV and school personnel joined the Youth Power Project leaders as they gathered in front of Desert Pines High School to combat the school-to-prison pipeline and call for the defunding of the Clark County School District Police Department. Angelica who is part of support staff in an elementary school, her role is to give support to predominantly black and brown elementary students. She recalls some deeply upsetting encounters, like a kid whose father was in jail, and a school assignment he wrote, which was about his biggest wish to see his father again.“In the back of his paper, he drew a picture of himself sitting down having a meal with his Dad. Unfortunately, this is another sad reality expressed by my students, many of them are growing up with their fathers in jail. Sometimes our presence alone represents that stable adult in their lives.”

 

That is exactly why we are promoting to defund the school police, to break the cycle of minority kids getting into trouble with the law due to school police and not having a stable relationship with their family in the future.

 

 Adam Allen a former Youth Power Project council member recalled being at school and feeling like he was in prison due to all the police surrounding the courtyard. That is why we must all keep fighting for a police free learning environment and higher investment in school counselors, nurses, and social workers. #DefundSchoolPoliceCCSD #PoliceFreeSchools

 

Sign your name to our petition to keep our kids in a safe place where they have access to restorative justice, counselors, nurses, and mental health resources and do not have the constant fear of being criminalized and put on the school-to-prison/deportation pipeline by school police. 

 

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The death of George Floyd sent shockwaves through the world as well as within the states. His death was a result of police brutality, an ongoing issue in America. Too many black and brown lives before him have died at the hands of the police. Many of the officers involved in excessive use of force that resulted in the murder of countless black individuals go free with no consequences. It is time they are held accountable and that justice be served.

Our young people are able to make decisions and are capable of bringing forth valuable information and in times like these, it’s imperative that we listen. The youth is the future of our nation and in their hands lie the changes that will come. There are many young people in our city who are working for justice and equality on a daily basis and here is one of them. 

Adam Allen is a Youth Power Project council member who fights alongside us for justice. He Brings us a message on how we can be better allies during the Black Lives Matter movement. It is not our place to speak for our brothers and sisters, but it is our place to elevate their voices so they are heard. Adam tells us that as nonblack folks we should be doing everything we can to elevate the voices of the black community not replacing them.

Watch his video below to learn how to be a better ally. 

 

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The Youth Power Project (YPP) is a youth led program that engages young people in local grassroots organizing, policy innovation, and financial literacy education. If you want to be a part of the YPP you can apply on our website here.

You can watch a brand new LIVE conversation with a YPP council every Tuesday at 5pm on our Instagram.

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El comité Familias Unidas de Make the Road Nevada compartirán sus historias de la adversidad que están enfrentando en el discurso politico y así asegurarse que su voz sea escuchada el la lucha por la justicia económica. Este comité identificara e impulsara soluciones a las condiciones injustas que afectan a los trabajadores ganando el salario mínimo, padres de familia, empresarios de negocios pequeños, y todo Nevadiense que esta luchando por una mejor calidad de vida.

El Comite Familias Unidas proveerá liderasgo a los miembros de Make the Road Nevada para que tomen una participación fuerte en la sesión Legislativa del 2019. El comité asegurara que las voces de familias y trabajadores mas afectados sean escuchados en la creación de legislación. Nuestra prioridad sera basada en ganar Dias de enfermedad pagados para todos y aumentar el salario mínimo.

únete a nuestro Comité de Familias Unidas para discutir estos temas y más. Niños son bienvenidos y habra comida. Juntos Podemos hacer los cambios que nuestra familias necesitan!

Make the Road Nevada’s Families United committee brings the economic struggles faced by our members to the forefront of the discussion and ensures that working families are the driving voice for our economic justice work. This committee strives to identify and find solutions to the unjust conditions faced by minimum-wage workers, working parents, small business owners, and all those struggling to find balance between paying bills and having a high quality of life.

The Families United Committee will lead our members in playing an active role in the upcoming 80th Legislative Session and ensuring experiences of those most impacted are taken into account when new laws are being created. Our first priorities will be pushing for comprehensive Paid Sick Days legislation and raising the minimum wage.

Join our committee of United Families to discuss these issues and more. Children are welcome and dinner is provided.

Together we can make the changes our families desperately need!

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Metamorfosis de la Mujer 2019
Sanando Nuestras Comunidades Tomando Acción

El objetivo de nuestra conferencia es que las mujeres y las jóvenes aprendan y participen en un diálogo sobre la justicia reproductiva, las modalidades de sanación personal y comunitaria, y el activismo como una herramienta para la liberación.

Habrá cuidado de niños y comida incluidos.
Entrada libre

Metamorphosis of Women 2019
Healing Our Communities Taking Action

The goal of our conference is for women and youth to learn and engage in dialogue about reproductive justice, healing modalities and activism as a tool for liberation.

There will be child care and food included.
Free admission

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Únase a nosotros todos los miércoles para nuestra reunión comunitaria semanal en la oficina de Make the Road Nevada, ubicada en E. Bonanza & Legion Way.

Esta junta esta abierta a cualquier persona interesada en escuchar y que esté dispuesta a tener una discusión honesta y respetuosa con los problemas que enfrentan nuestra comunidad de Las Vegas. La necesidad de tener días de enfermedad pagados, vivienda asequible, un salario mínimo más alto, derechos de los inmigrantes, derechos de las mujeres y proteccion del medio ambiente son solo algunos de los temas que discutimos. De vez en cuando tendremos un invitado, representante local o estata. Unanse a nuestra reunión para darles la oportunidad de escuchar nuestras historias y conocer a las personas que los representan.

Nuestras reuniones son siempre amigables y puede traer a sus hijos, siempre tenemos una deliciosa comida de cortesía para todos los que asisten. ¡Así que ven con un buen apetito y con hambre por justicia! La reunión es principalmente en español con traductores de inglés siempre presentes.

Para mayor información contactar a: Jose Macias 702-624-8084

Join us every Wednesday for our weekly Community Meeting at the Make the Road Nevada office, located on E. Bonanza & Legion Way.

Open to the public for anyone interested in hearing and willing to have an honest and respectful discussion with issues facing our Minority and Latinx Las Vegas Community. The need for having paid sick days, affordable housing, a higher minimum wage, immigrant rights, women’s rights, and clean air are only some of the topics that we discuss. From time to time we will have a special invited local or state elected official guest join our meeting to give them an opportunity to hear our stories and meet the people they represent.

Our meetings are always children friendly and we always have delicious complimentary food for everyone that attends. So, come with an appetite for food and justice! The meeting is primarily in Spanish with English translators always present.

For more information contact: Jose Macia 702-624-8084

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