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April 20th DREAM Act Commencement Day

By March 28, 2006No Comments

On April 20th, NAKASEC and affiliates KRC, KRCC, and YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community, mobilized 30 Asian American youth from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia to attend the day of action in Washington DC.

During the morning, NAKASEC and affiliates were involved with legislative advocacy actions which included visiting the offices of Congressional members including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL), Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY). A total of 20 visits were made.Each of the congressional members was given copies of the DREAM Act/Student Adjustment Act petitions, those specifically from their district.

A mock graduation ceremony highlighted the day’s afternoon where speakers such as Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard gave motivating pep talks to the participating students.A poongmul (traditional Korean percussion ensemble) performance was also represented by four cultural troupes affiliated with NAKASEC.They were HanNuRi from Los Angeles, Work and Play from Chicago, BINARI from New York, and SoriMori from Philadelphia.The cultural troupes were joined by three students who incorporated spoken word into the performance.Each student chose a quote from an undocumented Korean American student who could not participate in the day’s events and recited “Dreams Deferred,” a poem by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.

After the mock graduation ceremony, a march to the Department of Education took place with the cultural troupes leading the procession.Once participants arrived at the Department of Education, a Leadership Team, made up of 6 individuals including a NAKASEC representative proceeded to meet with the Head of Security to deliver a blown up size of the DREAM Act/Student Adjustment Act petitions. After the delivery, we received an oral commitment from the Head of Security to deliver the petition to Secretary Rod Paige. The Department of Education was targeted because this issue is not just about legalization, but also about educational opportunities for all young people.

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