Publish date: June 1, 2021
The UCLA Dream Resource Center (DRC) invites you to read “We Matter,” a poem by 2020-21 Immigrant Justice fellow Sara Alagha. The Immigrant Justice Fellowship is the DRC’s 12-month California-based fellowship that provides emerging leaders organizing and advocacy experience in the immigrant rights movement. Fellows are placed with on-the-ground organizations that address the criminalization of immigrants and health and wellness issues.
Sara was placed with the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA), a research, public policy, and community organizing hub dedicated to advancing the full economic, social, and civic inclusion of refugees. Throughout the fellowship, Sara worked alongside PANA to assist immigrant and refugee communities primarily from Syria and Burma. Touched by Sara’s dedication to justice, many community members provided Sara a dua (Arabic word of prayer). They prayed for her health, wealth, family, and success.
Sara wrote the poem “We Matter” to express her gratitude for their prayers and to express the deep connection she has with community members. As an immigrant from Syria, Sara understands firsthand the challenges community members are facing. “Poetry is highly valued in my culture, ‘We Matter’ shows appreciation to my culture and community. The poem highlights the words of gratitude community members gave me and emphasizes their resilience and compassion, despite the trauma many of them have been through.”- Sara Alagha