Skyline College hosts its first Undocuweek to show support for undocumented students

Skyline College held its first UndocuWeekfeaturing a different themed event for every day of the week. Each event corresponded with a webinar presented by undocumented immigrants from a variety of fields along with campus events and other resources. The California Community College system created a statewide Undocumented Student Week of Action that ran from Oct. 15 to 19. The week of action, dubbed UndocuWeek, showed support for the 60,000-75,000 undocumented students admitted into the CCCs.

Pamela Ortiz Cerda, the program services coordinator for the Dream Center at Skyline College, participated in monthly calls with the CCC Chancellor’s Office since August to aid in the coordination of the week’s events.

Every day of Undocuweek followed the same format of webinars in the late morning, followed by various events hosted by participants. Participants held and took part in the following events: UndocuAlly Mixer Luncheon on Oct. 15, Know Your Rights/Deportation Defense Training on Oct. 16, a presentation about Bay Area Entrepreneurship Center and De-stressing at the Dream Center on Oct. 17, the Mental and Emotional Wellness Fair on Oct. 18, and finally, a film screening of “Resist: Documenting the Undocumented” on Oct. 19.

Ortiz Cerda and Oscar Guerra, director of “Resist: Documenting the Undocumented”, ended the week of events by presenting the documentary which sought to reframe the Mexican immigrant image created by the mainstream media in the United States.

“In this project, I document the stories of two courageous and bright undocumented Mexican students living in San Francisco in order to shed light on their challenged history, their brave present and the uncertain days to come,” said Guerra in an article on the San Francisco Latino Film Festival website.

Following the screening, Ortiz Cerda took the time to explain where the idea for UndocuWeek came from.

“UndocuWeek stemmed from a combination of two things,” Ortiz Cerda said. “One, during my time at San Francisco State, I helped create their first UndocuWeek with the Undocumented Student Club, IDEAS, and the Undocumented Student Task Force.”

Ortiz Cerda said the idea of a week of events regarding undocumented individuals would create awareness and share resources and support with San Francisco State’s undocumented community.

The California Community College Chancellor’s office created a state-wide Undocumented Student Week of Action, and encouraged all 114 community colleges to participate in the week. This prompted Ortiz Cerda to coordinate the week of events.

Jasmine Miranda, a kinesiology major at Skyline College, said that it makes her feel “proud to know that undocumented students have resources and help at Skyline.”

Manuel Dacasin, a child psychology major at Skyline College and College of San Mateo, said that it’s reassuring to know that people at Skyline are allying themselves with undocumented students.

“I can relate to them,” Dacasin said. “And it shows there isn’t any type of discrimination, but support for them.”

Skyline’s first ever UndocuWeek strived to give undocumented students resources through webinars and educational events.

“I felt that [Undocuweek] was a great way for the university to show support and I really wanted to replicate that here as a staff member,” Ortiz Cerda said.

528 words