Today we’re joining the @UnitedNations International #MigrantsDay conversation by highlighting a #BezosScholar student and educator team who choose to focus their Local Ideas Festival (LIF) on issues related to and the comprehensive reform of immigration in the United States. The UN’s Migrants Day aims to showcase, strengthen, and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move, in hopes of creating dialogue within regions, and more broadly, countries, as well as promoting exchange of experience and opportunities for collaboration.
In 2012, Bezos Scholar Dory MacMillan and her educator, Ryan Findley, hosted DREAM Fest to advocate for immigration reform and to rally support for their undocumented peers, joining the growing trend of advocacy and activism on these issues in Athens, Georgia.
DREAM Fest featured a day of powerful speakers, including the director of Georgia's ACLU, Azadeh Shahshahani, Georgia's first Latino state representative, Pedro Marin, Freedom University teachers and students; high--profile immigration lawyers; representatives of a recently formed UGA student immigrant solidarity group - Undocumented Student Alliance, and leaders from related community groups in Athens, such as the Athens Latino Center for Education and Services. In addition to this incredible group of speakers, DREAM Fest also facilitated a concert at a local café featuring area singer-songwriters, a local rapper, and Incatepec, a Latin-jazz band.
In an online article for the Athens Banner-Herald, Dory shares, “education is a human right, and one that I have received, in part, by the good fortune of my birth place. My smart and ambitious peers, both documented and undocumented, will continue to support each other in our collective quest to succeed. Our country will be the better for it.” .
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