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We Are More Than Paperless People: Reflections on Creating Spaces, Narratives and Change with Undocumented Communities

1
College of Arts and Sciences, Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ 07306, USA
2
School of Education, Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ 07306, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Krystal M. Perkins and Arita Balaram
Received: 1 February 2021 / Revised: 30 April 2021 / Accepted: 6 May 2021 / Published: 14 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Studies/Perspectives on Migration and the Migrant Experience)
In this piece, we share some insights gleaned from oral histories of immigrant organizers involved in New Jersey state campaigns for access to higher education, weaving them with scholarly personal narratives (Nash & Viray, 2013) from the authors on their own youth organizing and/or experience working in an undocumented student support center. We are guided by the following questions: (1) How do New Jersey immigrant organizers make meaning of and create spaces of hope and home through their organizing? (2) What propels this work and sustains it across cohorts of organizers? We discuss five general areas in response: the experience of invisibility and organizing efforts that aim to counter it, the co-construction of homespaces within higher education institutions, the importance of (re)setting narratives, celebrating wins while pressing for more, and the intergenerational work that inspires and sustains change. We close the article with reflections on the ways in which formal and everyday organizing are acts of love and care, from which home is collectively built. View Full-Text
Keywords: undocumented youth; organizing; access to higher education; immigrant support centers undocumented youth; organizing; access to higher education; immigrant support centers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mendez, M.d.C.; Ayala, J.; Rojas, K. We Are More Than Paperless People: Reflections on Creating Spaces, Narratives and Change with Undocumented Communities. Societies 2021, 11, 47. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020047

AMA Style

Mendez MdC, Ayala J, Rojas K. We Are More Than Paperless People: Reflections on Creating Spaces, Narratives and Change with Undocumented Communities. Societies. 2021; 11(2):47. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020047

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mendez, Maria d.C., Jennifer Ayala, and Kimberly Rojas. 2021. "We Are More Than Paperless People: Reflections on Creating Spaces, Narratives and Change with Undocumented Communities" Societies 11, no. 2: 47. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020047

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