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Keeping the Dream Alive Division of Student Affairs

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Keeping the Dream Alive Virtual Conference

Keeping the Dream Alive registration now open

November 19 – 20, 2020

This year's theme, Reimagining the Contours of Undocu-Student Success, aims to redefine success in the context of undocumented status, and to examine the systems of support that undocumented and mixed-status students need to achieve success. Through the sharing of knowledge, expertise and emerging practices, the conference will enable educators, practitioners and other professionals to become agents of change in their respective institutions and advance the success of undocumented students and students from mixed-status families. Speakers, panels, and breakout sessions will highlight students’ unique accomplishments and explore what interventions, programs, curricula, and innovative practices promote academic, personal, and professional success for students impacted by undocumented status.

Conference Information

Registration Cost & Payment Methods

General Registration: $100 - For educators, practitioners, community members, student employees, and student leaders. Includes access to general sessions, keynote speakers, all-conference strands, and virtual social hour.

Students in California: Free - For college and high school students in California who are impacted by undocumented status. Includes access to general sessions, keynote speakers, and Undocu-Leadership Strand only; strand focuses on resources, leadership, self-empowerment, etc

Register by Card

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Pay by Purchase Order/Invoice

Register through a CSU Campus

Free Student Registration

*50% of registration fees go to our Dreamer Emergency Fund which supports undocumented students who are experiencing unexpected financial challenges.

**Registration fees are non-refundable.

Speakers and Panelists

Speakers and Panelists (Coming Soon)

General Sessions – Day 1 and 2

Below are the general sessions at this year’s conference. See details for each session to learn more. To join via Zoom, click “Join General Session.”

Thursday, November 19, 2020

8:30 am – 10:00 am
Conference Welcome & Opening Keynote Speaker

Join us for the official conference welcome! Organizers will provide an overview of the conference and the program outline, as well as review the procedures for accessing sessions, requesting technical support, etc. Lizbeth Mateo, undocumented immigration attorney and activist, will deliver the Opening Keynote Address.

Join General Session

1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
Featured Speaker & Closing Remarks

This session will wrap up the first day of the conference. Organizers will provide an overview of Day 2. Dr. Alberto Ledesma, accomplished educator, scholar, and author, will deliver the Featured Speaker Address.

Join General Session

Friday, November 20, 2020

8:30 am – 9:45 am
Program Outline, Hummingbird Champion Award & Expert Panel

Join us to kick-off day 2 of the conference! Organizers will provide an overview of the day’s program. They will also present the Hummingbird Champion Award to Phil Garcia, former Vice President for Public Affairs & Advocacy at Sacramento State.

The expert panel, Innovative Ways to Support Undocu-Professional Success, will focus on how to support students without and without DACA. Topics will include entrepreneurship and private consulting, career development, alternate options to career advancement, institutional support, and other pertinent issues.

Panelists:

  • Audra Grady Verrier, Career Center Coordinator, Sonoma State University
  • Iliana Perez, Director of Research & Entrepreneurship, Immigrants Rising
  • Uriel Rivera, Program Manager, Manny Garcia Student Services, LLC
  • Michelle Segura Padilla, DRC Coordinator & Adjunct Instructor, Los Angeles Trade Tech

Join General Session

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Closing Keynote Speaker & Conference Closing

Join us for the official conference closing! Ernesto Rocha (undocubae), organizer, storyteller, and transformational coach, will deliver the Closing Keynote Address. Organizers will also conclude this year’s conference.

Join General Session

Educator: Day 1 – Breakout Session 1

These workshops are for educators/practitioners and student employees/student leaders. They will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2020, from 10:15 am to 11:15 am, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

Anti-Racist Nativist Pedagogy: Multimodal Literacy in TK-8 Undocumented Immigrant Education
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Focus: Academic Success
Audience: K-12

Dr. Ana K. Soltero Lopez
CSU Fresno

This session is for TK-8 teachers working with undocumented students. The presentation will provide sample culturally and linguistically sustaining lesson plans using children’s books about immigration. Attendees will also learn how to apply multimodal literacies and common core state standards for creating engaging, validating, and transformative lesson plans that cultivate critical thinking and civic engagement in all children, but undocumented/refugee children in particular.

Toro Dream Scholars: Empowering First-Year Students Through CommUnity
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Focus: Academic Success
Audience: Higher Education

Arlin Gonzalez & Ana Miriam Barragan Santoyo
CSU Dominguez Hills

The first year at a higher education institution is crucial for the retention and identity development of students; this is especially true for undocumented students. The Toro Dreamers Success Center established a retention program to guide undocumented freshmen and transfer students during their first year. It consists of weekly or biweekly seminars, meetings with campus staff and faculty, pairing students with a mentor, etc. During this session, presenters will share the program curriculum, expectations, evaluations, and modifications made to engage students virtually.

Demystifying Health Rights: Access to Health Care and Public Benefits in the Days of Public Charge and COVID-19
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Focus: Personal Success
Audience: All

Clarisa Reyes-Becerra, ESQ.
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF)

The Trump administration implemented a Public Charge rule that created stringent requirements for visa and green card applicants. The rule has caused a “chilling effect” whereby many immigrant families have foregone critical services and benefits, even though it does not apply to many undocumented students and mixed-status families. Equipped with the correct information, educators can prevent families from un-enrolling from or avoiding vital public benefits. This presentation will inform attendees how to navigate Public Charge concerns to support immigrant families in the classroom and at home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will also include an open forum where attendees can discuss concerns regarding Public Charge, ask questions, and share best practices for supporting immigrant families.

Shaping the Environment: Increasing Undocumented Student Visibility and Sense of Belonging
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Focus: Personal Success
Audience: All

Polet Hernandez & Carolina Alfaro
CSU Stanislaus

The goal of increasing student participation is not to have every student participate in the same way or at the same rate. Rather, one should create an environment in which all students can experience compassion, acceptance, and reassurance. This workshop is designed for staff and educators who want to enhance campus engagement. It will provide recommendations and ideas for innovative virtual programing to increase student participation, increase sense of belonging, and support personal and professional development. Topics will include the development and facilitation of virtual UndocuBook Club, Undocumented Healing Circles, and UndocuAlly Training.

Initiatives to Support Undocumented College Students' Professional Goals
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Focus: Professional Success
Audience: Higher Education

Diana Valdivia
UC Santa Barbara

Undocumented Student Services (USS) at UC Santa Barbara has multiple initiatives to support the professional goals of undocumented students, especially those without a work permit. These programs, which include the USS Mentoring Program, the Monarch Opportunity Scholarship Program, and others, are collaborative efforts with other departments on campus. This breakout session will introduce the programs and provide recommendations and insights to those who might be interested in implementing similar initiatives.

Trade & Tech: Alternate Routes to Professional Success
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Focus: Professional Success
Audience: All

Michelle Segura
L.A. Trade Tech

There are alternate routes to success for undocumented students, including various trades, vocations, and technical certifications. In this workshop, attendees will learn about L.A. Trade-Tech and similar community colleges that offer “non-traditional” routes to professional success. The presenter will outline supports for undocumented students, and offer recommendations for educators.

Student: Day 1 – Breakout Session 1

These workshops are for high school and college students who are impacted by undocumented status. They will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2020, from 10:15 to 11:15 am, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

The Undocumented Lawyer: Film Screening & Conversation with Lizbeth Mateo
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Lizbeth Mateo
Conference Keynote Speaker; Immigration Attorney & Activist

In this session, we will screen The Undocumented Lawyer, an award-winning short documentary that focuses on Lizbeth Mateo’s experience as an undocumented attorney representing a client that takes sanctuary in a church. The documentary will air on HBO Latino next year. After the screening, Lizbeth will participate in a facilitated conversation and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Your Story can Move Mountains: Self-Empowerment and Owning your Narrative
10:15 am – 11:15 am, PST

Evelyn Luna & Tania Laguna
San Bernardino Valley College

The DREAMers Resource Center at San Bernardino Valley College has built a strong virtual community by implementing "sharing our stories" workshops that help students embrace their personal narrative and identity. In this session, students will learn how to “share their stories” as a form of self-empowerment. The workshop will also address mental-health stigmas, particularly in immigrant communities.

Educator: Day 1 – Breakout Session 2

These workshops are for educators/practitioners and student employees/student leaders. They will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2020, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

Forging the Undocumented Student Pipeline
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, PST

Focus: Academic Success
Audience: All

Marisela Hernandez
Foundation for California Community Colleges

The Foundation for California Community Colleges will guide a conversation on the importance of undocumented student support and collaboration among the K-12, adult education, and the higher education systems. This is critically important as we continue to restructure the California Community Colleges following the Guided Pathways and Vision for Success models.

Hacia el Doctorado: Testimonios of Three Undocumented Latinas in their Pursuit of a Doctoral Degree
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, PST

Focus: Academic Success
Audience: Higher Education

Adriana Quintana-Lopez, Mayra Nunez Martinez & Tadria Cardenas Rico
UC Davis, School of Education

Through their testimonios [testimonies], the presenters will highlight the challenges and obstacles they have faced as undocumented Latinas in the pursuit of a doctoral degree. They will also share the strategies they have employed to overcome those barriers. In doing so, the presenters will name the institutional structures and systemic barriers that continue to pose obstacles to the success of undocumented graduate students, and highlight ways in which institutions can better support this population.

UndocuAPIs (Asian, Pacific Islander): UPLIFTing to Success
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, PST

Focus: Personal Success
Audience: All

Lena Wang & Madison Villanueva
UPLIFT

Undocumented Asian and Pacific Islanders (UndocuAPIs) are often forgotten in the discussion of undocumented students. In this breakout session, participants will learn who these students are, why their stories matter, and how they have created spaces, movements, and leaders in their fight to UPLIFT the undocumented community. This workshop will identify unique challenges UndocuAPIs face in higher education and provide practices to address their needs. The session will also include an interactive discussion.

Impactful Fellowships for Undocumented Students
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, PST

Focus: Professional Success
Audience: Higher Education

Estefania Hermosillo & Rosio Preciado
Immigrants Rising

This session will highlight the value of fellowships for developing the professional success of undocumented students. It will also open up a dialogue about some of the most impactful aspects of Immigrants Rising’s fellowship curriculum. Attendees will learn best practices that inspire and have an impact on fellows.

Supporting the Transition to First-Generation Professional
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, PST

Focus: Professional Success
Audience: Higher Education

Xris Macias & Dayan Castañeda
University of Utah

We often hear about the obstacles faced as a first-generation student, but this session will explore life as a first-generational professional, particularly when undocumented status is a factor. Panelists will share their experience with professional life, networking, impostor syndrome, pressure and guilt, being “first” in their family, etc. The discussion will include undocumented and mixed-status individuals. Panelists will also offer recommendations for educators/practitioners to better prepare students for life after college.

Student: Day 1 – Breakout Session 2

These workshops are for high school and college students who are impacted by undocumented status. They will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2020, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

Attending College as a Non-DACA Student
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, PST

Aldo Cruz Vazquez
Butte College

This session is intended for high school students. Undocumented students in California can go to college, with our without DACA. This session will focus on important things to know for high school seniors and first generation undocumented students without DACA. Some topics covered will include admissions process, immigration status privacy concerns, financial aid, and support on campus for undocumented students.

Advocacy 101 with FWD.us
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, PST

Ali Procopio & Joella Roberts
FWD.us

This session focuses on basic advocacy techniques that students can use to make change on their campuses and beyond. The presenters will helps students identify “advocacy goals,” (e.g. improving the visibility of undocu-allies on campus; opening up financial support for undocumented students) that will improve the experiences of undocumented students on their campus. Together, we will take the first steps toward building a plan that will put students on a path towards achieving those goals.

Educator: Day 2 – Breakout Session 3

These workshops are for educators/practitioners and student employees/student leaders. They will take place on Friday, November 20, 2020, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

Launching: K-12 Dreamer Ally Training Video!
10:00 am – 11:00 am, PST

Focus: Academic Success
Audience: K-12

Dr. Basia Ellis & Lelanie Geyser
CSU Sacramento

This session will focus on the launching of a new K-12 Dreamer Ally Training video. The video features expert scholars, educators, and undocumented students who share their experiences and provide practical, step-by-step recommendations for supporting undocumented students at the K-12 level. The presenters will discuss the contents of the training and how it can be used to train others who work with undocumented students.

Maximizing Social Media to Connect with Undocumented Students
10:00 am – 11:00 am, PST

Focus: Personal Success
Audience: Higher Education

Celeste Garcia
CSU Northridge

COVID-19 disrupted campus life and forced everyone to adopt a virtual platform, complicating the ways departments reach and engage students. This adversely affects undocumented students, which now more than ever need ways to find the support to persist through the pandemic. The CSUN DREAM Center has effectively used social media platforms to reach, engage, and understand the needs of students. This interactive workshop will provide frameworks and best practices for assessing needs and creating responsive content, addressing privacy concerns, highlighting student success, etc. Attendees will learn strategies to improve their social media presence and build a connection with undocumented students during the academic year and beyond.

Improving Social Support Systems for Undocumented and Immigrant Students in Higher Education
10:00 am – 11:00 am, PST

Focus: Personal Success
Audience: Higher Education

Ali Procopio & Joella Roberts
FWD.us

In the efforts to support undocumented and immigrant students in higher education, much of the focus is on access and retention; less attention is paid to improving social support systems that help undocumented students thrive as they earn their degrees. This presentation will focus on key areas of social support that can improve the success of undocumented students and those from mixed-status families on college campuses. The presenters will address how institutions can work with students to create peer support systems, improve mentorship opportunities, and engage families. In doing so, campuses can create a community of allies that will act as a social safety net for undocumented and other immigrant students and a culture of allyship.

Equitable Opportunities for Students without Work Authorization
10:00 am – 11:00 am, PST

Focus: Professional Success
Audience: Higher Education

Ana Miriam Barragan Santoyo & Arlin Gonzalez
CSU Dominguez Hills

This workshop will help university personnel create equitable professional opportunities for students without work authorization, similar to the Dream Fellowship at CSU Dominguez Hills. The presenters will provide a brief overview of the process to plan and implement a fellowship and discuss funding opportunities. Additionally, current fellows will share their experiences and provide recommendations to individuals who want to establish a similar program. Attendees will receive online handouts, including fellowship description and guidelines, application and interview questions, and other resources.

Career Center Support for Undocumented Students: Creative Ways to Keep the Dream Alive
10:00 am – 11:00 am, PST

Focus: Professional Success
Audience: Higher Education

Becky Sandoval
CSU Sonoma

Even with limited staff, the Sonoma State Career Center manages to keep the dream alive for undocumented students. In this session, attendees will learn how Career Centers can be more inclusive and better serve undocumented students. Attendees will also learn how to generate practical but effective career and professional development opportunities on their respective campuses.

Student: Day 2 – Breakout Session 3

These workshops are for high school and college students who are impacted by undocumented status. They will take place on Friday, November 20, 2020, from 10:00 to 11:00 am, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

Prep Medico: Pursuing Success in the Medical Field
10:00 am – 11:00 am, PST

Sarah Iv
Prep Medico

Undocumented students can pursue careers in the Medical field. In this informational session, Prep Medico program coordinators will provide details on their summer internship program for freshman and sophomore college students. The Prep Medico program aims to build the next generation of physicians committed to serving and advancing the health of Latinx and other underserved communities.

Thriving as a Professional with or without DACA: Two Personal Trajectories to Success
10:00 am – 11:00 am, PST

Miguel Pimentel & Valeria Garcia Avila
College Graduates/Professionals

Many undocumented students believe that without DACA, there are no options for professional life after college. However, whether someone has a work-permit or not, they can still use their college degree and thrive. In this session, each presenter will share their personal trajectory to highlight the success that students can achieve, with our without DACA.

Educator: Day 2 – Breakout Session 4

These workshops are for educators/practitioners and student employees/student leaders. They will take place on Friday, November 20, 2020, from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

Language Acquisition and Proficiency for Immigrant Children in K-12: The Lasting Impacts in Higher Education
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, PST

Focus: Academic Success
Audience: All

Dr. Kristina Flores Victor, Jacob Benitez, Wendy Martinez & Jovanna Justo-Sanchez
CSU Sacramento & McGeorge School of Law

This panel focuses on the impact of bilingual and English immersion education in K-12 public schools. Panelists, which include a research group of undergraduate students, will share findings and recommendations from a mixed-method project that examined the process of language acquisition among K-12 students in immigrant and mixed-status families. Panelists will describe the lasting impacts of language acquisition as students transition out of high school and into higher education, and also share a framework for outreaching to local high schools and middle schools. Attendees in this session will gain strategies for student involvement and organization on college campuses to facilitate the provision of more resources for immigrant students.

Delivering Legal Services to Students: A Collaborative Approach
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, PST

Focus: Personal Success
Audience: Higher Education

Martha Zavala Perez & Sabrina Rivera, ESQ.
CSU Fullerton & CARECEN

In the last year, legal services were made available to CSU students, staff faculty and their families and California Community Colleges are starting to offer these services. The collaborations with the legal service providers (LSP) have transformed with time, especially since COVID-19. This session will highlight best practices on these collaborations, how information can be safely shared to engage students more wholly, and how non-CSU campuses can build relationships with LSP’s to provide legal services to their campuses. The session will also include a discussion on obstacles and explore ideas on overcoming them by collaboration with other stakeholders.

Your Story Can Move Mountains: Empowering Students by Helping them Embrace their Personal Narrative
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, PST

Focus: Personal Success
Audience: All

Evelyn Luna & Tania Laguna
San Bernardino Valley College

The DREAMers Resource Center at San Bernardino Valley College has built a strong virtual community by implementing "sharing our stories" intervention workshops that help students embrace their personal narrative and identity. The workshops also remove the stigma of mental health support and include a partnership with therapists from the mental health center. In this session, attendees will learn the framework for “sharing our stories” workshops. Presenters will also provide recommendations for implementing similar programs at other campuses and offer tips for empowering students by helping them recognize the value of their narrative.

Forging Ahead: Financial Aid & Options for Making an Income as an Undocumented Individual
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, PST

Focus: Professional Success
Audience: All

Andres Guerra, ESQ.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

CHIRLA is a non-profit dedicated to immigrant rights and to providing support and resources for undocumented students. This session will focus on alternatives to making an income beyond the traditional employee/employer relationship. The workshop offers tools to support students in the process of supporting themselves financially and contributing positively to the economy. The presenter will also discuss ways education institutions can cultivate opportunities for undocumented individuals to receive professional training and experience.

Socio-Emotional Implications of U.S. Immigration Policy for Undocumented Latinx/as in Graduate School
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, PST

Focus: Academic Success
Audience: Higher Education

Griselda Madrigal Lara
CSU Sonoma

In this session, the presenter will share the results of a research study on the stressors and coping mechanisms that undocumented Latinx/as adopt in their graduate studies. The presenter conducted semi-structured interviews with Latinx/as in graduate programs in the West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast, shortly after the rescission of DACA in 2017. The results of the study shed light on the stressors undocumented students’ experience and the coping mechanisms they adopt. The presenter will also offer insights on the value of support systems and ways to help students thrive and succeed.

Student: Day 2 – Breakout Session 4

These workshops are for high school and college students who are impacted by undocumented status. They will take place on Friday, November 20, 2020, from 12:15 to 1:15 pm, Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join via Zoom, click the workshop title.

Launching Undocuwisdom.com: A Research-Based Website for Undocumented Youth
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, PST

Dr. Basia Ellis
CSU Sacramento

Join this session for the launching of a new, research-based website that shares life lessons, practical advice, and other resources that help undocumented youth live well despite the challenges of their status. Dr. Ellis, founder of the site, will welcome four panelists from Chicago who contributed to the site’s development as undocumented youth. The panelists will share their reflections about the site and discuss what it means to share one’s story in support of others living in similar situations.

How to be a Leader on College Campuses
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, PST

Aldo Vazquez Cruz & Oscar Mendoza Plascencia
Butte College & Cosumnes River College

This session is intended for college students. Attendees will learn how to make direct positive systematic change in the Community College, Cal State, or UC systems for undocumented students. The workshop will also focus on involvement in student government, and becoming an agent of change for undocumented students and their families.