“With everything that’s happening in the world, it’s important for allies to show up and show that they’re supporting undocumented students.” – Cynthia Carvajal
In a public display of solidarity, members of the John Jay College community came out to show their support for immigrants and undocumented students at our “Calling All Allies” event on February 7. The event was hosted by the new Immigrant Student Success Center. “With everything that’s happening in the world, it’s important for allies to show up and show that they’re supporting undocumented students,” said Cynthia Carvajal, Manager of the Center.
“It’s important for us to be there to support and honor them, and to ensure their rights are protected.” – Professor José Luis Morín
Dipping their thumbs in paint, allies created butterflies, a symbol of migration and the symbol of the new Immigrant Student Success Center. Like those who come to this country seeking a better life, the monarch butterfly migrates in order to survive, taking an arduous journey of more than 3,000 miles from the eastern U.S. to Mexico to make it through the winter season. Allies also wrote words of encouragement and support to undocumented, TPS, and DACA students. The banner, filled with thumb-print butterflies, will serve as a constant reminder of the support for immigrant students. “Our immigrant students are not just a large portion of our student body, they are also our future,” said José Luis Morín, Professor and Chairperson of the Latin American and Latina/o Studies (LLS) Department. “Immigrants helped build this country.
At the event, we spoke with attendees and asked why stepping up as an ally was important to them?
Erica Wise, Staff, Modern Languages Department
“I come from an immigrant family. Undocumented or not, we all belong here, we all get a chance here in America.”
Dahlia Capulin, Student
“I come from a mixed status family. I know how important it is for students here to know that they are supported. With everything happening both on and off campus it’s important to call on allies because we need their support. We need them to stand up and stand with us.”
Arlienny Hernandez, Student
“A lot of people don’t come forward because they’re afraid. We want the undocumented community to feel welcomed and safe in this space. We want them to see that there are more people in this community, and in this world that support them than there are against them.”
More scenes from the event: