UCLA Labor Center

Immigrant Rights Activist Ju Hong Joins the UCLA Dream Resource Center

Ju Hong, Director of the UCLA Dream Resource Center

The UCLA Dream Resource Center (DRC), at the UCLA Labor Center, welcomes immigrant rights activist Ju Hong as the new DRC Director. With over a decade of experience in the immigrant rights movement and a commitment to justice, Ju Hong has a wealth of knowledge that will strengthen the DRC’s mission to empower immigrant youth and allies to be at the forefront of social justice movements.

As an alum of the DRC’s Dream Summer fellowship, Ju is happy to return to his roots at the DRC. “I was privileged to be part of the first cohort of Dream Summer fellows in 2011. Since then, I have been actively involved in the immigrant rights movement, organizing the community and advocating for immigrant rights issues. I am honored to return to the UCLA Dream Resource Center and serve as the new Director. I look forward to training and supporting the next generation of immigrant youth leaders across the country,” Ju said.

In 2013, Ju challenged former President Obama on his administration’s record number of deportations during a presidential speech at the Betty Ong Center in San Francisco, California. His courageous action appeared on national and international media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and BBC News. Ju also contributed and published immigration articles on the Huffington Post, Korea Times, and Politico.

Ju often shares his immigrant story at conferences and universities to educate and inspire people to take action on immigration issues. The 2016 documentary Halmoni uplifts Ju’s experience as an undocumented immigrant from South Korea and his bold advocacy in the pursuit of justice for immigrants. From 2016 to 2019, Ju served as the Governmental Program Analyst at the Immigration and Refugee Branch of the California Department of Social Services, where he oversaw a $45 million immigration services budget that funds over 100 community-based organizations to provide legal services and education to immigrant communities throughout California.

Ju currently serves as a board chair of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), a nonprofit that organizes Korean and Asian Americans for social, economic, and racial justice. He is also a member of the Leadership Council of Immigrants Rising, an organization that provides resources and support to undocumented people so that they are able to build a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Ju also brings awareness to the unique stories of Asian undocumented individuals living in the United States through his podcast the ImmigrAsians.

With a strong background in the immigrant rights movement and an unwavering dedication to justice, Ju is an incredible asset to the UCLA Dream Resource Center. Ju is a leader who values teamwork and applauds the giants of justice who have led the DRC before him. “I am grateful for what my predecessor Anthony Ng has accomplished for the UCLA Dream Resource Center. I have big shoes to fill, but I am excited to work with our incredible team – George, Silvia, Kandice, Gaby, Jessica, and Salinas. I look forward to strengthening our staffing and programs, increasing our capacity to support immigrant youth further, and playing a critical role in the immigrant rights movement,” Ju said.

The UCLA Dream Resource Center Welcomes New Staff Members

The UCLA Dream Resource Center (DRC) is excited to announce that Cuauhtemoc Salinas Martell will serve as the DRC’s Alumni Coordinator and Gaby Gil and Jessica Olivares will serve as DRC Project Coordinators. Salinas, Gaby, and Jessica have the skills, knowledge, passion, and first-hand experience to successfully carry out the DRC’s legacy of empowering immigrant youth and allies. As alumni of the DRC’s Dream Summer fellowship, Salinas, Gaby, and Jessica will bring critical insights as to how the DRC can improve its programming and alumni engagement.

Cuauhtemoc Salinas Martell (he/him/they), DRC Alumni Coordinator

Cuauhtemoc Salinas Martell is an alum of the 2012 Dream Summer fellowship cohort and credits the DRC for inspiring him to pursue higher education and his passion for social justice. From a young age, Salinas understood the need to organize and advocate for himself and marginalized community members. As a senior in high school, Salinas collaborated with the University of California and over 20 admissions counselors to promote the recruitment and retention of undocumented and marginalized students like himself. In 2012, Salinas joined the Dream Summer fellowship to further his organizing and advocacy skills.

Since completing the fellowship, Salinas has been dedicated to serving underrepresented and marginalized youth because he understands first-hand some of the struggles they face. Salinas has a B.A. in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Social Work from the University of Michigan. While at UC Berkeley, Salinas served underrepresented students and revamped the Health Opportunity Fund which supported over hundreds of students to offset their medical and health charges. At the University of Michigan, Salinas served as the representative for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Student Advisory Board.

Gaby Gil (she/they), DRC Project Coordinator

Gaby Gil is a proud alum of the 2017 Dream Summer fellowship cohort and is dedicated to ensuring that undocumented and DACAmented people are supported and empowered to thrive. Gaby has a background in grassroots organizing for immigrant rights and has experience in curriculum and program development centered on immigrant issues. Gaby graduated from Whittier College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Spanish. At Whittier College, Gaby worked with peers to create more resources for undocumented students including an undocu emergency fund, pro bono legal services, and ally trainings for faculty and staff.

Over the years, Gaby has volunteered at various nonprofit organizations—like Cosecha and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration—to advocate for immigrant communities by coordinating demonstrations and organizing with community members. Gaby is passionate about uplifting the stories of immigrant youth and helping them reach their full potential as leaders in the immigrant rights, labor, and social justice movements. They looks forward to collaborating with DRC fellows, partners, and alumni to advance opportunities for immigrant communities and work towards a more just and equitable world.

Jessica Olivares (she/her), DRC Project Coordinator

Jessica Olivares is an alum of the 2019 and 2020 Dream Summer fellowship cohorts and graduated from Mills College with a minor in Urban Education and a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Sociology. During her time as an undergraduate at Mills College, Jessica researched legislation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and immigrant detention centers in the United States. She analyzed media coverage to understand the perspective left-leaning media had on DACA and how that affected the immigrant rights movement. Her research also included testimonials from undocumented people, who had been detained, to draw attention to the negative impact and human cost of immigrant detention centers.

Jessica also has extensive experience in community outreach. Prior to joining the DRC, her work focused on providing South Central L.A. tenants information and resources about their legal protections. At the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, Jessica co-facilitated Know Your Rights presentations and community meetings on the reimagining of health resources. Jessica was also a member of the Promesa Boyle Heights immigrant rights network and led Know Your Rights workshops for immigrant communities.

Mayra Castro and Leticia Bustamante

(L-R) Leticia Bustamante, Mayra Castro, and George Chacon representing the DRC at the 2019 UCLA Labor Center annual banquet.

As the DRC welcomes Salinas, Gaby, and Jessica, the DRC would also like to thank Mayra Castro and Leticia Bustamante for their leadership and immense contributions as the DRC’s project coordinators for close to 4 years. Mayra and Leticia are no longer serving as DRC project coordinators and are currently pursuing other career and life goals. Leticia is completing her master’s in public policy at UCLA and Mayra is currently the Communications Manager at Faith in Action.

Both Mayra and Leticia are incredible leaders whose dedication to the DRC’s mission and strategic thinking led to milestones such as the ten-year anniversary of the DRC’s Dream Summer fellowship. Without Mayra and Leticia, the Dream Summer fellowship would not be as successful as it is today. The DRC wishes Mayra and Leticia the best on their career and life journeys. They are greatly missed but the DRC is happy to know that they are pursuing their passions and life goals.

Denise Panaligan, 2021-2022 DRC Alumni Council Member

Denise Panaligan, alum of the UCLA Dream Resource Center’s (DRC) 2013 Dream Summer fellowship, will serve as a 2021-2022 DRC Alumni Council member. Along with eight other council members, Denise will guide the DRC’s Alumni Network and advise the DRC staff team on programmatic priorities. The DRC Alumni Council will also lead professional and leadership development for alumni, while supporting and mentoring current DRC fellows.

Biography

Denise was born in the Philippines and raised in Koreatown (Los Angeles, CA). She is currently a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient and is passionate about immigrant rights, working with young people, and education. Her passion is a result of her lived experience as an undocumented immigrant. During high school, Denise did not receive the support she needed because her teachers did not know how to assist a student with an undocumented immigration status.

This traumatic event sparked Denise’s decision to work towards a world where schools can be a place of belonging and access to quality education is the norm, not the exception. Denise is currently working towards a doctorate degree in education leadership. Her dissertation focuses on eliminating racial disparities in school discipline through restorative justice, increasing resource equity for marginalized students, and sustaining civil rights protections.

Over the course of her academic and professional career, Denise has engaged in external affairs strategy, executed media relations, conducted policy analysis, and developed coalitions with diverse stakeholders. In October 2020, Denise was featured in a roundtable discussion for Fresh Off the Vote’s podcast episode, “Untangling Undocumented,” that examines how race and law work together to erase Asian Americans from the undocumented narrative. The roundtable also shared resources for audience members to complicate and untangle their notions of “legal immigration.”

Q&A with Denise  

Why did you apply to the DRC Alumni Council?

“During Dream Summer 2013, Yves Gomes, a fellow alum of the program, shared a quote with me from Yuri Kochiyama, ‘Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware. It is the perfect vehicle for students.’ It was this quote and my interest in ensuring that decisions are grounded in the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion that motivated me to invest deeply in the DRC Alumni Council.”

What are you looking forward to the most as a council member?

 “I look forward to developing my expertise on immigration policy and being a DRC thought partner. The DRC’s Dream Summer fellowship was a catalyst in my life that enabled me to operationalize vision and develop strong organizational skills. I am excited to play a major role in supporting the DRC’s efforts in community education, partnerships, and fundraising.”

Waking Dream – Free Film Screening

About:

Join us for a free film screening of Waking Dream and a follow-up panel discussion with the film’s participants!

Waking Dream is a documentary that weaves together the stories of six DACA recipients as they sit in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has provided nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth a chance to work legally, go to college, start businesses, and pursue the “American Dream.”

After DACA was rescinded, Waking Dream follows the unfolding fate of six of these young people as they fight for legal status in the U.S., struggle with the deportation of family members, and pursue their dreams.

View the film trailer here.

Date:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Time:

6 – 8 PM

RSVP At:

http://bit.ly/DreamWaking

Location:

UCLA Downtown Labor Center

675 S. Park View St,

Los Angeles, CA 90057

Parking:

Street parking will be available outside of the UCLA Downtown Labor Center. Metered parking is free after 6 PM. We encourage you to take public transportation if possible to avoid parking issues.

Additional Information:

Light refreshments and food will be provided. If you need translation available, please let us know in advance.

Hosted By: 

UCLA Dream Resource CenterUCLA Labor Center, and iNationMedia

For Questions Contact: 

dreamresourcecenter@gmail.com

DACA Has Been Rescinded, This Is What You Need To Know

 

The Trump administration has officially phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The end of this program means life-changing consequences for young people and their communities. Now, more than ever, the Dream Resource Center remains committed to immigrant youth and the fight for immigrant rights.

 

This is what you need to know about this decision:  

 

  • As of today, September 5, 2017, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no longer accepting first-time DACA applications.

 

  • For current DACA recipient, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD or “work permit”) is valid until the expiration date on your EAD card even if that is after March 5, 2018.

 

  • Pending DACA initial and DACA renewal applications filed before September 5, 2017 until March 5, 2018, will continue to be processed.

 

  • DACA renewal applications from current beneficiaries set to expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, will be accepted if the renewal application has been received by Oct. 5, 2017.

 

  • You can no longer apply for Advance Parole to travel outside the country. If you have a pending Advance Parole associated with DACA it will be closed and your fee refunded.

 

  • If you are out of the country with DACA based Advance Parole we encourage you to work with an attorney and return to United States as soon as practicable.

 

  • If your EAD is lost or stolen and needs to be replaced you can file for a replacement.

 

  • Even if your DACA EAD remains valid, being a DACA recipient may not protect you if you encounter ICE.

 

  • The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) created a helpful handout addressing work permits and employment, Social Security Numbers, state ID cards, travel on Advance Parole, Know Your Rights and more – we highly recommend you review this information.

 

Courtesy of the UCLA Immigration Legal Services.