Sunday, April 26, 2009

San Jose City College

This past Thursday I participated in the REELWORK May Day Labor Film showcase at San Jose City College. I was invited to attend by Prerna (over at, who attends many similar workshops all over the country.

She informed me that I would be speaking to the attendees.
Speaking? about what? I asked naively.
Your status.

This even was the biggest crowd I have come out in, aside from doing one on one revelations of my status to people I know and trust, I mostly keep it a secret.

The day of the event I went to pick up Lu (from alittlepieceofpaper) who came out to show her support and "be a DREAM groupie" as she put it. And then headed to Fremont to pick up Prerna. In the midst of all this driving, we stopped for some grub and this resulted in our running late (the event started at 6:30).

Fighting through traffic, we managed to get there barely on time, but had no time to rehearse or plan out our presentation. Prerna spoke first, introducing herself, and eloquently describing the nation wide student effort to promote the DREAM Act.

I spoke next. I don't remember what I said because of the nerves. I know I said something like "My name is Gabriel and I am an Undocumented Student". Other than that the rest of the event flew by with a blur.

At the end, there were some other students and group representatives that approached us to talk and plan out further events. I think we got invited to Evergreen Valley college, and Stanford.

After it was all over, and I could reflect on the day, I realized what a huge weight had been lifted. Although it was a small workshop, to me it was a cathartic experience to go out and get an opportunity to show the undocumented student's side of the story. I am grateful to Prerna for giving me the opportunity to participate, and to Lu for coming out from such a distance to offer support.

I look forward to doing this again soon.


  1. Yeah! Go Gabe, you were awesome :-)

    Next time, we will put you in front of 200 people

    (and rehearse beforehand) And make sure the equipment works, Lol.

  2. I was supposed to do the same this Thursday and speak to a crowd..But I can't do that yet. So I'm writing it out instead, and having one of my friends read it, and she will share her POV of how she was affected by this issue by seeing me go through it.. But good job!

  3. good on ya g man !!! It takes a lot of nerve and character just to get up and do it. You guys are holding it down as is everyone else where ever they're at. That's what I love about the internet, we're meeting each other, collaborating and uniting in the fight for the DREAM Act. We're all making friendships that will last till the end of the world. I myself love the spot light, so speaking in front of others ain't no thang but a chicken wiang.

  4. It seemed as if you have been doing this for a long time and you even managed to throw in some sarcasm and humor!

    It's nice to be able to match a face to the words, hopefully next time I'll be less sleepy.

  5. Thank you for what you, and everyone else presenting did. Putting a face on the issue is the most important part to get the DREAM Act passed. It must have taken a lot of courage, but then again, you show that over and over.

    Please receive a very sincere thank you.