50 Years After Selma to Montgomery March, United We Dream Salutes ACIJ, Honors Freedom Fighters of Yesterday and Today

United We Dream Press Releases

Salutes Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice


March 6, 2015
Contact: Mario Carrillo | mario@unitedwedream.org | 915.449.6463

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was 50 years ago tomorrow when hundreds of courageous individuals marched east out of Selma, Ala. towards the state’s capital Montgomery, fighting for the right for African-Americans to vote in the South.

The marchers were met with harsh resistance by Alabama state troopers, who used tear gas and nightsticks to beat back the demonstrators in what would later be known as Bloody Sunday.

The march from Selma attracted worldwide attention to the police’s brutal tactics and sparked a national consensus that led to the historic passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

Now 50 years later, the legacy of those freedom fighters lives on in the movements of today.

Cristina Jimenez, Co-Founder and Managing Director of United We Dream issued the following statement,

“The immigrant rights movement stands on the shoulders of giants.

“Fearless leaders and organizers like Rep. John Lewis, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker, and countless others, paved the way for leaders of today to contribute to our country’s struggle for equality.

“The grassroots leaders of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice are a telling example that the spirit of 50 years ago lives on. It was only in 2011 when Alabama passed the country’s strictest immigration law, criminalizing the state’s undocumented community in an attempt to keep a growing population living in fear.

“But grounded by the work of civil rights heroes of the past and supported by black leaders of today, a marginalized community organized, spoke truth to power, and fought back under the most harsh conditions.

“Whether in Alabama, the streets of Ferguson, immigrant detention centers in Texas, or the halls of Congress, communities of color remain under attack and young leaders are rising up and building power to overcome oppression.

“United We Dream salutes Alabama’s freedom fighters past, present and future. As those who marched from Selma sang 50 years ago, our communities shall overcome.”


United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful nonpartisan network made up of 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. We seek to address the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth and believe that by empowering immigrant youth, we can advance the cause of the entire community—justice for all immigrants.

You can find more about UWD online at www.unitedwedream.org.