Dream Riders meet community members in Charlotte, NC

Max Kim, Dream Rider from Los Angeles, said: “I am joining Dream Riders Across America because I want to fight for immigrant rights. I know what it is like to live in fear of deportation, unsure of what will happen in the future. I grew up in America just like every other American and am learning now that while my classmates and peers move on with their lives, I am experiencing many roadblocks because of something I had no control over. I am asking community members to give all immigrants the opportunity to have a fair and equal shot at the American Dream. Join me in this struggle by speaking up for all community members.”

For Immediate Release
July 29, 2015

CONTACT:
English: Chaoya Yang (Charlotte) cyang529@gmail.com, 828-446-4097
English: Healy Ko (National) hko@nakasec.org, 267-304-5260
Korean: Ga Young, gchung@nakasec.org, 217-281-2267

National “Dream Riders Across America” Meet with Youth and Community Members in Charlotte, North Carolina

Visit Dreamriders.us to follow the tour and click HERE for photos of the Dream Riders

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – On July 28, 2015, the Dream Riders Across America arrived in Charlotte from Washington D.C. and Falls Church, Virginia on a national bus tour, led by the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC), Korean Resource Center (KRC), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), SEIU United Service Workers West, and SEIU California State Council to educate the local community about immigrant rights, racial justice, and civic engagement, meet community leaders, and build a progressive network of young people throughout the region.

Two local Charlotte organizations, the Southeast Asian Coalition and Latin American Coalition, hosted a welcome dinner where several of the Dream Riders shared their stories with a packed room of local Charlotte community members and youth. North Carolina is home to the fastest growing AAPI community in the South, growing over 100% in the last decade, and many issues around immigration still persist for this community.

The Dream Riders also supported families of Jonathan Ferrell at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse at 832 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202 at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29th for jury selection.

They later participated in a press conference at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29th at 4938 Central Ave Suite 101, Charlotte, NC 28205. Max Kim, a Dream Rider and high school student at Annandale High School from Annandale, Virginia shared why he is an ally for undocumented youth. He came to America when he was 5 years old and grew up in Georgia before moving to Virginia. One day he hopes to become an entrepreneur in the graphic arts by studying game design and programming.

Max Kim, Dream Rider from Virginia, said: “I am joining Dream Riders Across America because I want to fight for immigrant rights. I know what it is like to live in fear of deportation, unsure of what will happen in the future. I grew up in America just like every other American and am learning now that while my classmates and peers move on with their lives, I am experiencing many roadblocks because of something I had no control over. I am asking community members to give all immigrants the opportunity to have a fair and equal shot at the American Dream. Join me in this struggle by speaking up for all community members.”

Tai Little, a community leader from Charlotte, shared her story of how current deportation policies impact greencard holders and her family. She said, “I would like everyone to know that the image we have of who is affected by deportations is not necessarily true. There are people who face deportation that came to our country as a result of American military action on foreign soil. No matter how a person comes to the United States, their deportation negatively impacts their lives, as well as the lives of American citizens and the economy of the United States. We must take a humanitarian approach to the question of immigration and their families.” Tai is a wife, mother and U.S. citizen.

For more information about Dream Riders Across America, please visit: dreamriders.us

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Campaign Overview

In 2013, NAKASEC, KRCC, and KRC launched the first Dream Riders Across America campaign to uplift the voices of immigrant Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) young people one year since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program began. The 2015 bus tour is round two of the Dream Riders Across America campaign hitting the road to educate our communities about the experiences and contributions of immigrant families, build meaningful relationships with immigrant and people of color communities, and activate fellow youth to be leaders for change.

Children Over Politics (COP) is a youth led organization. Participants in the program include the children of SEIU members and the children of partner organizations. Last year, the youth came together to fast for the Salvadoran youth who fled gang violence in their home country. In recent months, COP showed solidarity with youth who have experienced police brutality and working parents who have faced wage theft, low pay, and other issues of social and economic justice.

The Dream Riders Across America held a pre-launch kick-off event in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 27 and launched the bus tour from Washington, DC with stops in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas lasting from Monday, July 27 to Friday, August 7, 2015.

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The Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC) is a grassroots organization in Charlotte, NC and focus on empowering the Southeast Asian community in the greater Charlotte region. SEAC focuses on civic engagement, grassroots advocacy, and youth empowerment. Although SEAC is anchored in the Southeast Asian community, the challenges and struggles that the Southeast Asian community face are linked with the issues that impacts all communities of color. Our shared struggles with cycles of poverty, deportation, and mass incarceration

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