Arely Zimmerman & Sangita Shresthova – Documenting DREAMs: New Media, Undocumented Youth, and the Immigrant Rights Movement

November 29, 2012
10:00 am - 11:00 am PST
By Educator Innovator

How do socio-economically marginalized & politically disenfranchised youth use new media to mount and sustain social movements?

Key Questions and Comments:

  • (07:49) There are 5 million undocumented youth in the United States today…65,000 undocumented minors graduate from high school each year.
  • (10:26) The normal idea is that civic engagement has been closely tied to both education and income. As we’re seeing here…undocumented youth leaders are significantly more likely to be involved in their schools and communities than their peers.
  • (11:14) How is it that youth who confront so many barriers to political participation and civic engagement exhibit higher rates [of engagement and participation] than average California youth?
  • (12:21) Scholars have moved beyond the idea of an “access gap” amongst racial minorities to looking at a “participation gap.” So, the concern isn’t necessarily about access anymore as it is about the quality of time of Latino and black youth spent online.
  • (18:42) What role will digital media play as new political opportunities open and others close?
  • (22:12) It is a priority for undocumented youth to have a communications and a marketing team–not only what is being posted, but we’re very conscious of the framing of how undocumented youth are being discussed and what that means for our communities and for our families.
  • (28:00) I’m really interested in the [peer-to-peer] media training that Arely described earlier. I’m wondering if you could just say a little bit more about how formal it was?
  • (33:29) It seems like there’s some great takeaways for youth, educators, activists on other issues. I’m curious to know what you have observed and learned that you think are takeaways for youth who may be interested in issues in their own community?
  • (37:39) It was really interesting to see how youth connecting with their passions in their creative and artistic sides lends itself to civic engagement.
  • (40:44) It’s not only about pointing the camera at yourself and making a video of yourself and then hoping that it will maybe get views. But it’s really an ability to know that you can upload it to a site, which will help scaffold it being seen, and help it become part of a larger collective storytelling activity.
  • (46:50) What do you think the impact of this experience–all that the DREAMers have learned, and all the people that they’ve connected with, the lessons they’ve taken away–how do you think that will impact them going forward in terms of their involvement in civics and politics? What’s the lasting impact?
  • (53:10) Both the undocumented youth movement and LGBTQ communities are mobilizing in the context of two things, which are shame and silence…These are two things that are shaping the strategies of empowerment that youth are using. In order to become political, you have to be public.
  • (56:05) I was wondering if you know of any other alliances that the DREAMers have built that might be a little unexpected? Or, now that the DREAMers are more recognized on the national stage, how they’re partnering with more formal political parties?

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During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #connectedlearning.

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