Friday, May 5, 2006

This weekend: youth will train and rally in Nashville for immigration reform

The immigration training for youth that had originally been scheduled for April 21 to 23 will take place this weekend, according to the following press release from the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement ("FIRM") and the Center for Community Change.

“We Have a Dream!”
Young People Train as Advocates for Immigration Reform

WHERE: Scarritt-Bennett Conference Center, 1008 19th Ave. South, Nashville
WHEN: May 6, 2006 at 9:00 am (training kicks off); 2:45 pm rally in support of the DREAM Act on 21st ave. and West End
May 7, 2006 at 9:00 am (training continues)

(Nashville, TN) As hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters participated Monday in a wide array of activities that included petition signing, letter writing, voter registrations and vigils for fair and comprehensive immigration reform, hundreds of young people from the Southeast have joined the fight to push for passage of comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act and enhance their advocacy and leadership skills during an intensive weekend training.

Every year, tens of thousands of America’s brightest high-school graduates are prevented from pursuing dreams of a college education and a better future. These students, many of whom are valedictorians, honor students, class presidents, or student leaders, have had to overcome numerous barriers in order to succeed. Many were brought to this country as young children and have lived here almost their entire lives; but because they don’t have immigration papers, they face limited prospects for completing their education and working legally in the United States. The DREAM Act is federal legislation that would enable these students to adjust their immigration status, and pursue their dreams.

Participants come from diverse backgrounds, with some likely to be directly affected by DREAM legislation and many others who simply want to help fix our broken immigration system. The training, the first of its kind in the South, will address the many sides of the immigration debate including the potential tensions between African American and Hispanics and the crucial role of young people in the history and future of all social movements.

The curriculum includes the principles of comprehensive immigration reform, opportunities for participation in the immigration movement, the content of the DREAM Act, and a play on how a bill becomes a law. The young advocates and future leaders, united for one common goal, will immediately apply their training at a rally in support of the DREAM Act, which will take place on the corner of 21st Ave and West End at 2:45 on Saturday.

Eager young students from Georgia, West Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, North and South Carolina and Tennessee will attend the Southeast training, organized by the Center for Community Change, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).

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