Program will Train and Empower Next Generation of Progressive Leaders and Grassroots Organizers
Washington, DC – This summer, hundreds of youth are training with United We Dream (UWD) across the country to become the next generation of progressive leaders and grassroots organizers. Nearly 450 young people make up the inaugural class of UWD’s new initiative, Summer of Dreams, a program that will teach leaders ages 16 to 26 about the history of the progressive movement, while also equipping them with skills to become agents of positive systemic change for the future.
During the six to eight week curriculum, leaders will learn about the history of community organizing in the United States and how to lead civic engagement efforts in their towns, cities and states. Workshops topics will include intersectional organizing, anti-racism, healing and wellness, LGBTQIA issues, and how to run campaigns.
Summer of Dreams launched last week. The program runs from June 25 – August 11, 2018 in 9 cities across the US: Long Beach, CA, Washington, DC region, Austin, TX, Houston, TX, Las Cruces, NM, Albuquerque, NM, Santa Fe, NM, Las Vegas, NM and Miami, FL.
Participants include young people of a wide range of experiences, including undocumented, unaccompanied minors, U.S. citizens with undocumented parents, and allies. A few of those participants shared why they joined the program:
“I want to learn how to support the people in my community. Back in March, I traveled to our nation’s capital with UWD and I have participated in efforts at my school to pass the Dream Act, including walk outs. I hope through Summer of Dreams I can become a better team leader,” said Sofia Pearson from Florida.
“I want to fight for the rights of my undocumented cousins, uncles, and of course my parents. I want to let them know that my privilege doesn’t mean I am unaffected or ignorant to the obstacles and discrimination they face.This is also an amazing way for me to spend my summer. Instead of lying around looking for things to do I am actively seeking to learn more about what I can do to help my family and community,” said Abel Solis from New Mexico.
“I decided to sign up for the Summer of Dreams because I thought it would be an amazing opportunity for me to stay connected with my community and become more informed about the different issues that are affecting us today. I, myself, am a Dreamer and I have faced a lot of setbacks. It was not always easy to remain positive. It took me years to come to terms with my status and finally be able to use my struggles as a motivation,” said Liliana Vazques from California.
“I am hoping to learn the necessary tools to make something right as I see families being torn apart. I want to make a difference. Summer of Dreams will allow me to learn about immigrant families and their experiences, and give me a sense of community,” said Yajayra Segovia from Maryland.
“I saw the power of my community firsthand this year when I was detained by ICE after confronting someone who bullied me for being undocumented. Summer of Dreams is giving me the chance to continue the work of fighting for my community and being the radical change that we need to get justice for people who are currently under attack by ICE, Border Patrol, and racist politicians from Washington, DC to Texas,” said Dennis Rivera from Texas.
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.