NSights Blog

UndocuWeek to raise awareness, celebrate undocumented communities

Upcoming events to help the undocumented community realize their dreams

Nancy dreamt of a life of stability for her two-year old daughter. A dream that allowed her daughter to grow without barriers despite her immigration status. Nancy's dream changed in November of 2014 when she received her letter for deportation. Nancy is not just a woman of indescribable strength with a familiar dream but she is my family.

I was in my last year of my undergraduate degree here at the University when we received the letter. I remember my family gathered in my living room rereading the letter as if it was going to change Nancy's fate. My family knew we have exhausted all opportunities for Nancy to remain living in the U.S. Like many migrant families we relied on faith but at times I found myself filled with hopelessness.

I had difficulty understanding why a country that I love so much will not accept my family. An individual who worked tirelessly to complete her degree here at our University while working fulltime to support her family. I found myself sharing my families' situation with classmates and professors because they too have been impacted by deportation.

Being born in this country I knew I had the unique privilege to advocate for those who feel voiceless without the fear of deportation. In the last remaining months of my undergrad degree I found myself sharing my family's story to our elected state legislators in hopes of initiating change within our state.

Soon after receiving my undergrad degree in Social Work I was eager to work with students with a dream of overcoming barriers despite their differences. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work as the Social Services Coordinator here at the University where I support all students and their families in finding on campus and off campus resources.

I work towards helping students fulfill their dreams by finding them resources that support them to finish their degrees. I support students with issues relating to social, cultural, employment and/or legal.

Since working here at the University I discovered student leaders and faculty members were eager to learn how to support students who are undocumented, students with DACA and students in mixed status families. With the support of our campus community I created the University's UndocuAlly Training where participants learn how to support students who are undocumented. Additionally, I am excited to announce the University's first UndocuWeek (Feb. 26-March 5), a full week dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating our undocumented communities.

It has almost been three years since Nancy left but despite our circumstances I still find myself dreaming. And as a faculty member I believe the dreams of our students are my dreams too. A dream without barriers. A dream where students can dream without fear. So will you share our dreams too?

Upcoming events: 

Undocu Photoshoot. Date: 2/26/18. Time: Noon. Location: in front of the MICK. An opportunity for students, faculty and administrators to show their support for the undocumented community by participating in a group photo in front of the MICK.  

"Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America." Screening and Discussion Date: 2/27/18. Time: 6 p.m. Location MICK Wells Fargo Auditorium. Screening of "Forbidden" followed by a panel discussion on intersectional identities and the challenges that impact those with multiple identities.  

Direct Action: Get Involved. Date: 2/28/18. Time: 6 p.m. Location: Travis B. Linn Reading Room inside the Reynolds School of Journalism. Students and faculty will have the opportunity to listen to Theresa Navarro and how she began her work in immigration advocacy.  

What's Your Immigration Story. Date: 3/1/18. Time: 6 p.m. Location: JCSU Food Court. Faculty and students will share their families' immigration stories through poetry and storytelling.  

Latinx Dinner. Date: 3/2/18. Location: The Holland. Project Time: 6-9 p.m. The Center: Every Student. Every Story and Las Culturas will host Latinx Dinner. Participants are encouraged to bring a dish to celebrate our immigrant communities!  

Immigration Panel and Fair. Date: 3/5/18. Time: 5:30 p.m. Location: JCSU Ballroom A. A panel discussion on the recent announcements on Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protective Status (TPS). After the non-profit immigration organizations will be present to discuss the services they provide to the Reno/Sparks community.    

Jahahi Mazariego headshot