November 2019 Advocate: AFT 1493 endorses and supports UndocuWeek


AFT 1493 endorses and supports UndocuWeek

By Jessica Silver-Sharp, AFT 1493 Secretary &
Doniella Maher, Cañada Chapter Co-Chair

AFT 1493 Executive Committee (EC) voted to endorse UndocuWeek, a week of action — October 14 to 18 — to raise awareness and visibility of hundreds of undocumented students on our campuses. Our union recognizes that our students need to know that we support them and their fight for education, especially during a period of increased attacks and marginalization.

As part of UndocuWeek, Cañada College EC members joined students and faculty at several of the activities coordinated by the Dreamers Task Force and the Dreamers Student Club including a collaborative art project and a screening of Jose Antonio Vargas’s film Documented, which was attended by almost 100 students. AFT 1493 also contributed snacks for activities. Following the film, instructors led class discussions on the film’s major inquiry: “How do YOU define American?”

Photo above, students wrote their “immigration stories” and posted them to
the “Wall of Support for Undocumented Students” (see photo below)

A full week of UndocuWeek events at Skyline College, coordinated by tireless Dream Center leader Pamela Ortiz Cerda, also saw many AFT EC and regular members involving their students in awareness and empathy events. Skyline personal counselors and Peninsula Humane Society volunteers with therapy dogs were on hand for emotional support on Thursday. On Friday, Sociology professor Rika Yonemura Fabian and English professor and Puente leader Lucia Lachmayer joined Ms. Cerda, SparkPoint Director Chad Thompson and librarians Jessica Silver-Sharp and Pia Walawalkar in hosting students at the Library to build a “Wall of Support for Undocumented Students” with paper flowers and protest posters. Students also wrote and posted their “immigration stories” to the Wall.  AFT and Skyline College Library provided snacks and modest outreach funds toward the week’s events — too many describe in this article — while ASSC generously provided the primary financial support for the week.

“Wall of Support for Undocumented Students”