Procession of Hope / Procesión de la Esperanza

Introduction

Welcome to the 10th year anniversary of our annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days Summit - LEAD.
 
Listen to the Procession of Hope audio track
 
Who are we?: The broad spectrum of researchers, teaching professionals and educators, academics, scholars, administrators, independent writers and artists, policy and program specialists, students, parents, families, civic leaders, activists, and advocates. In short, those sharing a common interest and commitment to educational issues that impact Latinos.
 
Over the past decades, Latinos have emerged as the largest minority in the nation, with majority populations in many states and regions, and in some cases, the majority demographic among school-age children. In many ways, this is our moment as a major cultural influence on art, music, food, and so forth. Our workers, too, are the backbone of many sectors of the intertwining local, regional, state, national and global economies. Yet, the strength of our schools and communities, basically, “our place in the world”, is impossible to evaluate without focusing on the educational outcomes of Latino students.
 
Latinos continue to have some of the highest drop-out/push-out rates, score among the lowest on achievement tests, and have low college enrollment and graduation rates. Both Latino students and teachers have a high mobility rate, are located in racially segregated communities with high poverty rates, and attend schools with fewer resources, staffing, and programs.
 
The purpose of LEAD is to promote a broad-based awareness of the crisis in Latino Education and to enhance the intellectual, cultural and personal development of our community's educators, administrators, leaders, parents and students.
 
As this is the 10th year anniversary of the LEAD Summit, it is for us a celebration and an opportunity to review and celebrate our collective accomplishments and fruits of our labor.
 
The 2019 Procession of Hope / Procesión de la Esperanza is made up of three strands; doctoral graduates, new US citizens, and undocumented youth.
 
The doctors are graduates of the Doctor of Education degree program in Educational Leadership from California State University, San Bernardino.  It is a dynamic program which provides preparation for educational leaders for schools, community colleges, and related areas within education.
 
Emergent Questions Guiding the CSUSB Ed.D. Program:
  • What are the most pressing challenges facing our educational institutions/communities across the Inland Empire?
  • What kinds of educational leaders does our region need for the 21st Century? (what should they know, be able to do, etc.)
  • What does education for social justice look like in the Inland Empire?
 
The new US citizens received citizenship preparation and assistance with the naturalization process from our featured partner TODEC Legal Center, and demonstrate TODEC's lifelong commitment to civic engagement via their #NaturalizeIE Campaign.
 
There are over 250,000 Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) eligible for naturalization in the Inland Empire and TODEC is assisting eligible LPR's on the daily basis at no cost. Low-income LPR’s may also apply for a fee waiver for USCIS fees and if approved USCIS will waive their application processing fees.
 
The undocumented youth are from both TODEC’s Monarcas Luchadoras Youth Leadership Program as well as CSUSB’s Undocumented Student Success Center.  
 
Monarcas Luchadoras gets its name from the Monarch Butterfly which personifies the struggle for justice, dignity, and equality. Monarch Butterfly migration is symbolic of transnationalism and cross border relationships.
 
The Undocumented Student Success Center serves to create a welcoming, dynamic resource environment for our undocumented student population and to provide a safe place where AB540 allies and other persons with a common interest for underserved populations can congregate, exchange ideas and provide support to one another and their students.
 
The three strands - doctoral graduates, new US citizens, and undocumented youth - make a braid (trenza) as in a metaphor for understanding the experiences and perspectives of the educational plight of Latinos.
 
The processional strands help us visualize the critical and nuanced understandings of how personal, professional, and community identities not only shape Latino education in our experiences and perspectives, but serve to highlight the historically significant moment of the LEAD Summit’s 10th year anniversary.
 

Doctoral Graduates

Who are we?: We are the Doctors who have crossed the finish line and completed the educational pipeline.

As recent doctoral graduates, we are the new realities, shared histories and identities.  We are the less than 1 percent of Latino adults who have earned our advanced degrees.

In these last 10 years, much has changed. Latinos are making significant progress in educational attainment and the opportunities to invest in our success has grown.

The number of Latinos, in California for example, with two- and four-year degrees has doubled, a dramatic increase. And national participation in doctoral education by underrepresented minorities has grown from 5% to 7%.
Yet compared with the overall, growing Latino population, the proportion of college-educated Latino adults over the same period remains flat.

There is still much more work to do; as schools, institutions, colleges and universities across the United States are trying, and often struggling, to develop faculty, staff, and administrators that reflect the nation’s growing ethnic and cultural diversity.
As scholars and graduates of doctoral programs, from marginalized communities, we are paying it forward. The very presence of us can actually transform and improve education.

Our hope is to move others along and across the educational pipeline to increase the college readiness, the college going, and college success of our communities.
¡SI SE PUEDE!
 

New Citizens

Who are we?: With a solemn oath, we are America’s newest citizens.

Once lawful permanent residents, we have crossed a very special milestone in our lives to become Americans by choice. We are dedicated, diligent and hard workers. 
Our aspirations and actions enrich our society and strengthen our democracy.

With our new title of U.S. citizen, we have an opportunity to make lasting contributions to both our community and adopted country. Our hope is that our efforts will help ensure that America’s promise of freedom, democracy, and liberty is secured for generations to come.

Education is of economic imperative, and the Civil Rights issue of our generation; it is a right not a privilege. For us to create a more positive future it will require a Latino citizenry that more greatly participates in the democratic process, and that is poised to shape the political landscape through voting and civic engagement.

¡SU VOTO ES SU VOZ: EVERYONE COUNTS!
 

DREAMers

Who are we?: We are the dreamers and do-ers, undocumented students and youth.

Education is our priority. We have a voice. Our movement has developed into a significant force nationally.

We are members of your communities, raised and educated in the United States as Americans, we work hard, we pay our taxes, and we don’t bankrupt the system.
Without options for legal residency, our lives hang in the balance.

Hundreds of thousands of us are collectively holding our breath, anxiously waiting for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and a permanent fix that will help us stay in the United States and one day become U.S. citizens.

As we represent a significant portion of this country's future strength, we must achieve a dramatic and powerful change in our communities, one that necessitates courage, social action, public service, and the creation of leadership opportunities.
Undocumented and Unafraid has emerged as a slogan for our immigrant youth. No longer living in the shadows, we are coming out, organizing, advocating for change and building a new civil rights movement.

¡EL PRESENTE ES DE LUCHA – EL FUTURO NUESTRO!
 

Closing

Our inaugural Latino Education and Advocacy Day in 2010 at Cal State San Bernardino was a historical success in bringing needed attention and discussion to critical issues in Latino education.

The highly-visible success of the annual LEAD Summit has opened up the necessary groundwork and campaign for our extraordinary new future.

Are you ready to make a difference in the Latino community?
Are you ready to connect with and be part of educational leadership?
Are you ready to find cross-sector solutions to improve the education and lives of all students?

RAISE YOUR HAND – STEP IN – AND GET INVOLVED!!!