Letter to the Editor

By Gloria D. Bravo, Senior - International Affairs

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.•