Washington, D.C. – Today, The Communications Network announced United We Dream as the recipient of the 2021 Clarence B. Jones Impact Award for our Home Is Here efforts, which launched in 2019 as part of our fight to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, their families, and all immigrant communities at the U.S. Supreme Court . This includes the strategic communication work from our first-of-its-kind video amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, and our work in 2020 while waiting for a decision from The Court on the DACA program.
Juanita Monsalve, Senior Creative and Marketing Director of United We Dream, said:
“At United We Dream, we believe in putting directly impacted people at the forefront of everything we do, and the strategic communication and digital efforts used to advance our Home Is Here campaign are the epitome of that. It’s an honor that United We Dream’s members are being recognized with The Communication Network’s Clarence B. Jones Impact award. They power our movement. As an organization, we strive to empower our members to move from a place of fear to a place of resilience, determination and strength. It’s not lost on us that our voices are our power. In the lead-up to the Supreme Court case on DACA, we channeled this power into all of our strategy, including creating a first-of-its-kind video amicus brief, uplifting advocacy efforts with Congressional leaders, amplifying direct action, and emphasizing the ongoing threat of detention and deportation our communities face, in order to create a series of opportunities for large scale earned media.
In selecting United We Dream as the recipient of this year’s Clarence B. Jones impact award – named after an icon of the civil rights movement – The Communications Network is recognizing the great contributions of undocumented young people who were at the forefront of dreaming up and executing the strategy which contributed to us winning at the Supreme Court in June of 2020. It is that same brilliant and innovative thinking from directly impacted people who will ensure we continue to win dignity and permanent protections for our community.”
Viktor Esquivel, DACA recipient and member of United We Dream, said:
“Shortly after Trump cruelly tried to end DACA I found myself sharing space with United We Dream’s members and staff in Houston. I had never been in a space with so many other people who understood what me and my family were facing.
A few months later, it was my involvement in United We Dream that allowed my voice to flourish to the point where I found myself shouting “undocumented an unafraid.” It’s because of this that while waiting for the Supreme Court to decide if I would lose my ability to work and lose my protections from deportation, I knew it was important to share my story. The decision of the Supreme Court was about more than just a policy, it was about my life, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others. Through the leadership and direction of other undocumented youth, I felt empowered to be unapologetic about the need to protect all immigrants from deportation.”
About the award: The Clarence B. Jones Impact Award honors the game-changing effects of smart, strategic communications. It is given annually by The Communications Network to a social sector individual, team, or organization whose work best represents the extraordinary impact of our craft. The award is named in honor of Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a hero of the Civil Rights Movement who helped draft Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and a paragon of what communications for good can accomplish. Previous winners include: The Truth Initiative, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and A Step Ahead Chattanooga.