I had the opportunity of creating a week-long event and exhibit titled “Our Immigration
Stories,” in order to educate and lessen the negative connotations of immigrants. Students had
the opportunity to share their story of how it was coming to a foreign country, the struggles they
encountered, and how it has affected their identities. The Latino Student Assembly (LSA),
International Student Assembly (ISA), Black Student Assembly (BSA), and Queer and Ally
Student Assembly (QuASA) collaborated on creating discussions of the intersections of how
immigration affects our different communities. We held an exhibition and hung up USC
student’s stories of immigration out on Trousdale for the week of November 17th-20th. Students
were able to tell us their own personal experiences and we collected around 150 stories overall! I
was amazed and inspired at the involvement and participation of students to come share with us
their narratives. I hope that the people who stopped to read these stories realize how immigration
plays a crucial role in the lives of many people, some of which are also students, colleagues, and
friends of this school; they all form part of the Trojan Family too.
One of the programs from “Our Immigration Stories,” included a panel event on
November 18th with community representatives and USC student’s sharing their perspectives on
the topic of immigration. This event was hosted jointly by the Latino Student Assembly (LSA)
and the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly (APASA).
Here's a brief bio summary of each of the speakers:
- Anabella Bastida - leads the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM), the largest Mexican
organization in California that strives to mobilize its membership base to develop active leaders
and improve the educational and socioeconomic attainment of immigrant families in California.
- Maegan Ortiz - LA based, NYRican born and bred media maker, activist, and Interim
Executive Director at el Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA).
- Seth Ronquillo - is an undocumented immigrant originally from the Philippines. He serves as the
UCLA Dream Resource Center's Communications Coordinator. His short documentary about his
family’s immigrant narrative, “US,” has been featured in film festivals throughout the country
and has been televised on Los Angeles KCET stations.
- Sabrina Enriquez - worked for an immigration lawyer before coming to USC, and her family has
been involved in fighting for immigration reform for the past ten years. She is a USG Senator.
Christopher Yik - He is an undocumented student at USC, and is a part of many organizations on
campus such as SCALE, MECHA and IDEAS.