PRESS STATEMENTFriday, August 11, 2017Contact: Joseph Kwon | Joseph@tnimmigrant.org
Educator Day of Action to Urge Senators Corker and Alexander to #DefendDACA and Support Dream Act NASHVILLE - Today, educators across the state are standing with their undocumented students in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Dream Act of 2017. For years, immigrant youth have been fearlessly leading the fight for immigrant rights in Tennessee, but behind their perseverance and bold advocacy, there has always been a network of teachers, professors, counselors, principals, and administrators who've supported and encouraged Tennessee Dreamers. This week, as the new school year kicks off, undocumented students are returning to school anxious and fearful about their future as the DACA program is at risk of being terminated. Joining the statewide Educator Day of Action, hundreds of educators across Tennessee are taking action and standing with the more than 8,300 DACA recipients in Tennessee by making phone calls to Senators Corker and Alexander and posting on social media about working with DACA recipients, the impact of DACA, and why they support the program. The following is a statement from Dr. Crystal Colter, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at Maryville College:
“I am inspired by the powerful stories of resilience and hope that I have heard from undocumented students and their families. I support the high school and college students I have worked with who are DACA recipients. They are indeed Dreamers working for a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. By protecting DACA and passing the Dream Act, we can give them the opportunity to build a better future for this great country they call home.”The following is a statement from Emily Philippone, ELL Teacher at Sheffield High School in Memphis:
"I support DACA because it doesn't mean "deferred action" to my students, it means the start of being able to dream again. Going to college and pursuing a career are no longer unachievable but something able to be realized. With DACA, I've seen hope come back into students' eyes, which is why I am participating in the DACA Educator Day of Action. I will be posting on social media, making a poster for outside my classroom and talking to people about standing with our students on August 19th for the statewide demonstrations in support of DACA."The following is a statement from Molly Sehring, Administrator with Metro Nashville Public Schools:
"I am a 20 year veteran of Metro Nashville Public Schools, and my DACA students are thriving. They are Cambridge scholars, masters candidates, financial advisors - AND they are even my colleagues. I support the DACA program which has given many young adults the chance to thrive, and urge everyone to do the same."
TIRRC is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state. Since its founding in 2001, TIRRC has worked to develop immigrant leadership, build the capacity of its immigrant-led member organizations, help immigrant community members understand and engage in the civic process, and educate the public about policies that would better promote integration of new immigrants and facilitate their full participation in US society. In just a few years TIRRC has grown from a grassroots network of community leaders into one of the most diverse and effective coalitions of its kind, a model for emerging immigrant rights organizations in the Southeast and throughout the United States.