When I first began organizing as an undocumented student on campus at Cal State Fullerton, my biggest challenges was building up my skill-set so that I could effectively run campaigns on my own. When I attended my first training at the Social Justice Summit at Cal State Fullerton in 2006, I saw the power of joining a passion for justice with helpful tools and advocacy skills that move pro-immigrant policies.
Today, I find myself a more seasoned organizer, thanks in part to the help from training spaces like the Social Justice Summit. When I reflect on milestone fights, such as the hard-won AB 60 Driver’s License bill, the California TRUST Act, and others, I notice a connecting thread between those that made it possible. From the undocumented pre-med student activist to the community organizer, not only do we have a fierce passion for working towards a future where immigrant communities live brighter, healthier, safer lives, but we are also committed to developing supportive spaces that build a stronger and more inclusive movement.
Whether it is through up-to-date information, face time with allies, or sharing helpful strategies, it is critical that we be involved in spaces for knowledge exchange between advocates of diverse levels of experience and from different walks of life. This is why the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) has committed to creating such spaces through our biannual regional trainings.