LEAD illustrates ‘The Struggles of Undocumented Womxn’

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Danielle Kessler

From left to right: Maryann Estrada, Karina Mauricio Juarez, Juventino Alcaide and Antonio Garcia.

On Wednesday, Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers (LEAD) held a presentation titled “The Struggles of Undocumented Womxn” in honor of Undocweek. Members of LEAD gave this presentation to illuminate the struggles that undocumented women living in the U.S. experience.

LEAD historian Maryann Estrada and body member Juventino Alciade headed the presentation and discussed policies of exclusion, healthcare, economic oppression and other issues that affect undocumented folks and women in particular.

 “We also touched on things that aren’t accessible to undocumented women, like a livable wage, fair working conditons, fair employment (and) healthcare,” Estrada said. They brought up examples of discriminatory laws, policies and services that exclude undocumented women.

Some of these exclusionary systems “include institutionalized racism and institutionalized sexism, and they intersect when it comes to undocumented women,” Alcaide said.

Another part of their presentation focused on the intersectionality of undocumented women of color and the importance of intersectional feminism as a way to be inclusive to the problems they face.

“Intersectional feminism is basically taking in all the factors that go into a person and some of these factors are race, gender, sexuality, and class status,” Estrada said. “All of these factors work together to shape the experience that a person will have in the world.”

Alciade added that “the school can have a big hand in making it a little more mainstream by hiring professors that can teach it, (and) having more professors that are women of color.”

Presenters also gave some advice to friends and allies of undocumented students. 

Estrada stressed the importance of “taking the time to advocate for those undocumented friends they may have.”

Members of LEAD hoped to promote a safe environment for students who are undocumented or want to help those who are in need of protection.

“We exist,” Estrada said regarding LEAD. “We’re a resource that is here for them as students. Our club is open for allies, mixed-status students and undocmented students.”

LEAD meetings are held every Tuesday at 5 p.m. and locations and future events are updated on their Instagram account @chicostate_lead.

Danielle Kessler can be reached at [email protected] or @reserv0irpups on Twitter.