For the past four years I’ve been grinding hard with work, track, and school, and it wasn’t until recently that I’d come upon the topic of immigration reform. I’ve always had a passion for diversity, so when this issue came to my attention, I knew I had to jump in and be a part of it.
This past year working with G92 has been wonderful to say the very least. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with students around campus, and I’ve been able to spread awareness about something that I’ve become very passionate about. I would like offer a huge thank you to G92 for providing me with the opportunity to work with everyone from my Portland campus!
I was asked to write a blog entry about this experience I was fortunate to be a part of. A few weeks back Daniel connected me with Beyth Greenetz at Multnomah Bible College. If anyone had told me eight months ago that I’d be asked to speak at a conference about student involvement around the immigration reform movement, I would have called them crazy and walked away. But there I was last Saturday in front of around 100 people talking about how I got things rolling over here at Concordia! God is so good!
I talked about how I set up my plan of action, and I emphasized our key strategies of keeping things simple and short when working students who lead that busy lifestyle. I told them that it doesn’t take a genius to realize how broken our system is, and that providing baseline information and getting rid of the stereotypical ideals associated with immigration was the biggest part of our success.
Leading someone to that “Duh” or “Ah-HA!” moment needs to start with a conversation, so I also talked about the ice breaker game I invented at our table during diversity week. In this game you pick a card, and roll a dice (because we don’t get to pick where we are born!). If the card you picked was higher than the dice number you got three questions from the “100 questions for naturalization” exam, and if it was lower you got three questions that were drawn from various online quizzes I found that were based on immigration statistics in the US. Of course, we had candy prizes to draw in the students, but as you can probably guess, people didn’t have a clue about how the immigration system really works. This activity set up a great platform for dialogue and generated a lot of interest in our campus group.
The last thing I discussed was the importance of using our campus resources, a huge one being our professors. When advertising for our big movie event, I was emailing and communicating with teachers, club leaders and faculty members on a daily basis trying to get people to come. I begged professors to offer extra credit and even advertised free food and drinks. With that and our persistent flier pushing, we were able to generate almost thirty students on a Monday night to watch a movie about undocumented youth in the United States. I was so proud!
The experience of joining these people in efforts to make a difference was unforgettable and I am so grateful that I was blessed with such an opportunity. Even though I’m still a rookie in the sport, I’m confident that even my small contribution will help our efforts in the future. I’ve learned that It’s all about doing the best you can with what you’ve got, and stepping out in faith!
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