Mel Vazquez was recognized for winning a scholarship
POSSE Scholar || The Posse Foundation is an American nonprofit organization that identifies, recruits, and trains student leaders from high schools to form multicultural teams called "Posses" of 10 Posse Scholars. These teams are then prepared, through an intensive eight-month Pre-Collegiate Training Program, for enrollment at top-tier universities nationwide to pursue their academics, help promote cross-cultural communication and become leaders on college campuses. Each Posse Scholar is awarded a full-tuition scholarship.
The primary goal of Define American is to collect and amplify the voices of immigrant and undocumented community members at Carleton in order to create more engagement and activism in the campus as a whole. Instead of focusing on the experience (which is sometimes traumatizing to recall and verbalize), the hope is to highlight the intersection of experiences, their differences and similarities, by incorporating the input and perspectives of many groups on campus. Ultimately, sharing these stories (through panels, Facebook groups, and other events) will help promote greater awareness of how these issues of anti-immigration and xenophobia directly affect everyone on campus; that they are more than just abstract political concepts as many people in the majority view them. Furthermore, because Define American is a national organization with over 50 chapters, these stories could eventually be amplified and make a difference on a nationwide scale.
As the Vice President, it is my duty to oversee the committees and keep the committee chairs updated on our upcoming projects.
As a student representative of the Education and Curriculum Committee, it is my responsibility to notify the Carleton student of any education and curriculum updates. Whether it be a few changes to major requirements, a newly available minor or a revised registration process, these are all important pieces of information to relay to students given that it affects our academic careers.
Melissa has spent most of her life being defined by those around her. Some of the labels are flexible, while others are permanent. In this introspective talk, Melissa examines the types of labels we place on each other and addresses the question of whether that is a positive or negative behavior. Melissa is a young lady who has spent her entire life being defined by the labels that other people place upon her - in this enlightening talk, Melissa examines her labels over the years and how it can influence both herself and others as they face their own labels. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
"Know Your Rights" || Carleton College CAMS Production || ACLU of Fairbault ACE Project & Laska Jimsen
Housing discrimination and unfair policing practices in the state of Minnesota require an engaged, informed public to ensure the safety for all. In our partnership with the ACLU of Minnesota, we create a short informative video to educate viewers about their rights as residents within the United States. A group of 3 freshmen students helped Carleton juniors with their CAMS projects by translating the set of rights written by the ACLU for the Minnesotan immigrant community. Being bilingual in both Spanish and English, the speakers had the opportunity to present these rights in both languages. The rights they translated for the community included the proper steps to take when stopped by police, ICE agents or any other law enforcement officers.
Producers: Joe Cardoza, Hiba Jama, Dex Schneider, Sergio Demara
Speakers: Melissa Vazquez, Clarissa Guzman, Carlos Reyes
Undocumented Working Group
This group is working to dedicate resources in the Career Center to undocumented students. However, that poses privacy issues: asking students to self-identify as an undocumented individual is a major issue to work around when establishing resources here. Amazing resources, like TRIO, are federally funded, so undocumented students do not qualify for them, but the DACA/ undocumented student working group is dedicated to addressing these challenges. One major focus of this group is the creation of loopholes in current school policies to enable undocumented students to receive basic funding and added support for our (il)legal status. We are working on expanding the school-wide textbook library and the Carleton Cupboard against food insecurity.