By Timothy P. Silard, President, Rosenberg Foundation
Last month, dozens of youth and advocates gathered for a reception to welcome the Northern California participants of the 2012 Dream Summer program. Organized by the UCLA Labor Center and now in its second year, Dream Summer builds the capacity and leadership of Dream youth by connecting them to full-time internships with social justice and labor organizations like AAPIP, CHIRLA and Asian Law Caucus.
At the event, several Dream youth leaders spoke about their experiences with the same energy, passion and courage that has captured national attention, provoking debate and galvanizing support from millions of people throughout the country. The UCLA Labor Center’s Kent Wong pointed out at the event that, with President Obama’s historic decision to provide temporary relief to hundreds of thousands of young people, undocumented youth secured one of the most significant victories in the immigrant rights movement in years.
As I listened to the youth, one thing became clear to me. At the core of this powerful movement is a belief in the promise of America. These young leaders believe that if they speak out, fearlessly advocate, and inspire us with their dreams, the nation will listen. We will be moved. And we will act and do what is just. If President Obama’s announcement is any indication, they are right. And they are just beginning.
Dream youth represent the future of immigrant rights in California and the United States, and the Rosenberg Foundation is honored to support them and their fight for justice.