MENU

Class project promotes immigrant rights

A class project focusing on immigration brought to the campus immigrant stories through an interactive display in King Hall, and clothing drive.

Cardboard+cutout+near+King+Hall
Cardboard cutout near King Hall

Cardboard cutout near King Hall

Cardboard cutout near King Hall

Mimi Li, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The uneasy climate surrounding the issue of immigration stems from President Trump’s executive order. Immigrant deportation prompted some Cal State LA students, faculty, and administrators to act. Several faculty members began displaying posters outside their offices stating that they are, “unafraid educators.” The Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning created the Democracy in Action educational series, which touched on presidential powers and immigration policy. Last week, Students United to Reach Goals in Education (SURGE), a campus organization for undocumented students, held an event titled Stepping Out of the Shadows in which undocumented students shared personal stories.

Students in Dr. Alejandro Covarrubias’ Latinx and Social Justice class are assigned a major project for the end of the semester. This project aims to spark conversations and shed light on narratives surrounding migration, imprisonment, and detention that are often not included in mainstream media. There are four different groups of students working together towards the central theme of bringing attention the narratives of immigrants to and initiating dialogue with the campus community.

Part of the project includes spreading the hashtags #CSULASinMiedo and #CSULANotAfraid on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Students promoting the hashtags hope they’ll begin trending and create conversations surrounding immigration beyond Cal State LA.

One group created cardboard cutouts of adults and children and placed them in various areas around campus. These cutouts, each with a different story of immigration hand-written on them, can be found placed sitting on a wooden chair in King Hall, or standing on top of the steps of the Music building. The cutouts featuring children emphasize their childhood carelessness, wearing butterfly wings or riding a unicorn.

Sociology major Emily, who volunteers with the organization Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), is a part of the group creating and displaying the cutouts. The various stories, she says, are collected from news sites such as Huffington Post or are the personal experiences of students’ families and community members. Some immigration stories came from letters from immigrants held in detention centers.

“I’ve translated documents for people who are in immigration detention centers and have read many of the letters and you see many people escaping great trauma only to be retraumatized once they arrive here,” said Emily. “And many people feel alone in there, that no one cares or even knows that they are there … I wanted to do my best to honor their stories and experiences. Not all the narratives are one of complete isolation but rather they are speaking to how they are actively helping and supporting each other while they are in confinement with few resources.”

The life-size cardboard cutouts caught the attention of Chanel Simpson, who is pursuing a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Simpson, who is involved in on and off-campus women’s and LGBTQ organizations such as Feminists United and Somos Familia Valle, says that the that the narratives of immigrant women written on the cutouts has stayed on their mind the entire week.

“As I walked into King Hall for class, my attention was caught by the cardboard cutouts lining the entrance,” said Simpson. “I started to read a few of them, and found myself pulled into the stories. I was struck by the shared experiences of these immigrant mothers and womxn, who have risked everything to give their families better lives, and have lost so much in the process. It made me wonder how a country so focused on family values could find merit in tearing immigrant families apart, in taking mothers away from their children.”

History major Yomara Solis-Cabral is involved in the group that created a visual display in the third floor of King Hall. The display includes a continuous video loop on two small TVs, with the backdrop of torn-up pieces of President Trump’s executive orders. The hashtags #CSULASinMiedo and #CSULANotAfraid are scrawled on top of the ripped executive orders.

“The video is a visual representation of different social injustices in the United States,” says Cabral. “The first part of the video focuses on police brutality. It shows the continuous excessive force used by law enforcement towards Latinos and African Americans. The second part of the video shows how immigration laws such as the executive orders 13767 and 13768, which were implemented in January by Trump. The last part of the video includes clips from different movements like the Chicano and black power movement so it starts from the 1960s up untill the present day by showing rallies and protests that have been happening in these past years.”

A third group from the class contributed to the project as a whole by starting a clothing and necessities drive. The drive occurred during the first two weeks of May with several drop-off locations in King Hall. The donations collected from the drive will go towards local undocumented families.

Lastly, a fourth group organized the Allied Student Mobilization (ASM). This purpose of this group would be to provide notifications and updates related to immigration rights, such as recent decisions made by the government or by Cal State LA, and future rallies and meetings. They also created the Instagram account @csula_asm to further connect with the campus community.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    Suspect charged in the death of 19-year-old student

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    Freshman Overnight Orientation

  • News

    Boards Now Aboard

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    Vehicle Burglary on the Rise

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    Judge orders the release of immigration rights activist Claudia Rueda

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    Meet your new president

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    Manchester in Mourning

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    CSU Smashes Butts

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    KICK THIS

  • Class project promotes immigrant rights

    News

    Sweet treats during finals week

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles
Class project promotes immigrant rights