United We Dream is committed to ensuring that people who are, have been, or will be directly impacted by the immigrant experience are at the forefront of decision-making and throughout UWD. We may be farthest from the conventional levers of power but we are closest to the problems, and we are most able to create truly transformative solutions based in an intersectional analysis and the beauty and power of our whole selves. Youth, womxn, and LGBTQ people from different ethnicities are at the core of our work.
We are led by those most affected and those doing the work are closest to the decision-making. As an organization we promote transparency and accountability, and we expect the same from the partners we work with and the institutions that we influence.
Our greatest strength comes from people. UWD knows that our communities have the answers and resources they need to create the change they want. We organize at the grassroots level to build relationships and empower communities to articulate and implement those answers by elevating their work, not individual voices. In order to create a strong organization and be part of a larger movement we create spaces where members are constantly learning, challenging themselves and their peers and seeking personal and collective empowerment.
UWD understands that we are movement fighters and we are rooted in the whole self. That means that we create a loving and accepting community, where self-care, mental health and healthy behavior are celebrated, where transformative relationships are built, and where we have fun.
United We Dream believes that change comes from empowering the whole person. Liberation for our community starts at the personal and individual level by deconstructing our thinking – we challenge ourselves and others to understand the current systems, structures, and institutions that oppress our communities. We work to raise political consciousness of our people and we build understanding and relationships that embrace diversity and see the intersections of our experiences and our individual liberation connected to collective liberation.
We also know that traditional educational structures were created to exclude our community. We are committed to uplifting the educational values and knowledge rooted in our cultures and upbringing while also liberating educational institutions to actually serve our community.
We are guided by love, power, resiliency and the creativity of our people. While United We Dream encourages all communities to decide their own practices, we are committed to nonviolent action and non-oppressive practices. We take inspiration and wisdom from freedom fighters and people’s movements that came before us, while still being rooted in the needs of our community and today’s lived experience.
Although UWD focuses our work in the United States, we recognize that immigrants and migrants all over the world are facing oppressive and violent systems. UWD recognizes that the root causes of migration include imperialism, colonization, violence, persecution, natural disasters, and capitalism and economic globalization that impose poverty and displacement — too often due to policy decisions being made in other countries. To reach true justice, we must recognize and push back against global policies that force people to move. We are part of the international community and will stand with all people seeking a better life, peace and safety.
We are the ones with the lived experiences and we speak truth to power whenever injustices happen. We engage in politics, policy and world events and ensure that those with lived experiences have a seat at the table when policy is being made that impacts people’s lives. UWD believes that the art of sharing personal stories is the most important tool in order to create the changes we wish to see in the world.
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