For many students at UC Santa Cruz, May 3rd was another typical day. Students’ rushed off to class, but others lingered a little longer as they partook in their daily “scholarly” lives: eating at Joes, shopping at the bookstore, and buying their coffee from the Express store. In addition, to the usual behavior that many students engage in while strolling through the quarry such as: the tablers; the students avoiding flyers, and the occasional student who graciously accepts your propaganda, there was also a group of students off to the side sitting in a circle and participating in Day 2 of Education Rallies. The topic of Day 2 was immigration. A global topic that literally transcends borders and a concept that is so impactful to our lives.
As most students continued with their lives: heading to class, the gym, or work; these other students in the immigration discussion were able to halt their daily routine and sit as two presenters offered insightful information on an issue that often flies over our heads or persists under the radar. The motivation behind peoples’ interest in immigration can be so varied, and although this discussion did not allow for students’ to express their opinions and sentiments towards this highly debated topic, they were still able to sit in unity as they learned about policies and regulations that dictate and affect many peoples’ lives.
As the daughter of an immigrant, immigration is highly important to me. It’s always been a personal issue, and I often concentrated on the emotional aspect of the topic through the direct effects I could see. Furthermore, through my mother’s immigrant story her internalized suffering was passed onto me. So I am glad I was able to see others equally interested in this topic, and behind each face there is a struggle and there is a story. Therefore, I encourage each individual to rise to the challenge and participate in these rallies. We have the power to control our education, by coming to a rally, you can learn from friends, peers, and other community organizers. You can mingle with students, and you can discuss you innermost thoughts that aren’t even told to your diary. Let us release ourselves from the chains that bind us so tightly and keep us controlled.
Do you dare to challenge yourself?
Do you dare to come to a space that tears down the walls of typical educational pedagogies?
I challenge you all to come to the Escalating Education rallies, come and participate in alternative education. Come and see what a critical race and ethnic studies could possibly be.
Thank you and remember no human is illegal.