Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Easterner, its staff or Eastern Washington University. This letter has not been edited except for AP style.
With the 2020 presidential election a mere 10 months away, you and I know that the debate over immigration will be everywhere from classroom discussions, to news outlets, to social media and more. Unfortunately, in an age with so much misinformation, it may be hard for our students, staff and community members to consistently differentiate between facts and rhetoric. But for many of us on campus, immigration is more than a policy debate; it is a factor the weighs on our daily lives and those of our families. For these reasons, I would like to strongly encourage all to participate in this year’s Activist in Residence (AiR) program, which will be focusing on the issue of immigration. The program is sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Education Center. You will not only receive factual, non-partisan information, but also gain a deeper understanding of these communities and their struggles. The AiR program will consist of six events starting Wednesday, Jan 29 from 3:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m., located in Monroe Hall 207. The events will continue each Wednesday afternoon until March 11. Students are awarded a certificate after attending at least four events. At these events, students explore different forms of activism and learn more about immigration through the use of stories, films, panels, group discussions and workshops. Events will be guided by a theme, such as coalition building, how to use data and research for their causes, how to lobby to shape public policy, how we can create lasting change and more.
“As a student that has been part of the AIR program before, I can say that it is not only highly educational, but vigorously empowering.” -Gloria D. Bravo, Senior – International Affairs
I am thrilled that Lili Navarette is the 2020 Activist in Residence. Lili, a fellow immigrant and EWU alum, has a long list of accolades: Director of Public Affairs & Raíz at our regional Planned Parenthood, VP of the Hispanic Business/Professional Association, and most recently she was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee as Washington’s Commissioner on Hispanic Affairs. Here is an inspirational Latinx woman who has used her passion, voice and over twenty years of experience in social justice to relentlessly fight for the protection of immigrant rights, women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of other marginalized groups. The AiR program, led by Lili, will help students develop the leadership skills needed to become effective advocates and/or allies of these communities. As a student that has been part of the AIR program before, I can say that it is not only highly educational, but vigorously empowering. I do hope students and community members alike take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to learn directly from a knowledgeable activist and warrior.•