For Immediate Release
July 28, 2015
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Dream Riders Launch 12-Day “Dream Riders Across America” Bus Tour in Washington D.C.
Dream Riders meet with government officials, community and organizational supporters in DC and Virginia and speak at press conference in front of U.S. Capitol
Visit Dreamriders.us to follow the tour and click HERE for photos of the Dream Riders
WASHINGTON DC— On July 28, 2015, Dream Riders Across America kicked off its 12-day national bus tour with a morning press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol. The Dream Riders then headed to Falls Church, Virginia for a community meeting with dozens of immigrant rights leaders at CASA de Virginia’s office, sharing their personal stories of migration, hopes for their families and country, and ideas about how young people can become agents for social change and racial justice.
On July 27, the Dream Riders Across America met with coalition partners, community leaders, and supporters of our campaign who believe that the Dream Riders will be agents of change taking steps to unite our communities around issues that impact Asian Americans, Latinos, and African Americans alike, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and profiling. Dream Riders Across America successfully reached its fundraising goal of $15,000 to cover the costs of the bus tour at the conclusion of the DACA Hour Meet and Greet/ fundraiser at Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Washington D.C.
Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and strong supporter of the Dream Riders, shared the following statement of support: “I am so proud to join with NAKASEC and others to support the Dream Riders Across America. These courageous young people took to the road to remind us why the President’s immigration actions are so important. For millions of aspiring Americans, these programs mean security – security to finish their studies, continue to work, lay roots, and contribute to the only country they have ever called home. I appreciate all the Dream Riders are doing to highlight their brave stories, encourage other DREAMers to come out of the shadows, and push for broader immigration reform measures that will keep families together.”
David Han, Dream Rider from Los Angeles, said: “For this Dream Riders bus tour, I would like to build a bigger and stronger immigrant community so that we can come together to be one voice and inspire others to stand together. Inspiration builds bigger and stronger communities.”
Leticia Velez, Dream Rider from Los Angeles, said: “I am doing this tour because I want to inspire youth to be active within their communities. I’m an activist and fight for a better future for everyone today. I believe in my immigrant rights and that neither my skin color nor my ethnicity will determine my future.”
Dae Joong Yoon, Executive Director at NAKASEC, said: “We are so proud of our young leaders from Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia who are stepping forward to be true agents of meaningful change in our communities. The Dream Riders are hitting the road to engage in conversations with their peers and everyday people from all walks of life sharing personal stories addressing immigration, racial justice, and the need to build electoral power in our communities. Through conversation, we seek to spark sustained community activism and civic engagement. We are building a new generation of progressive leaders this summer. ”
Rocio Sáenz, Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union said: “We are truly proud of the young leaders today – they represent the new, emerging faces of America who are ready to show the Trumps of today and the rhetoric of yesterday that we are listening… we are fighting… and we will vote.”
Belle Lopez, Children Over Politics Co-Founder, said: “A year ago on this day, a group of youth and I fasted for 5 days in order to better the lives of immigrant children being held under inhumane conditions in detention centers. Today, a year later, another group of our youth, alongside the youth from NAKASEC, embark on another journey in order to better their communities and the world around them.”
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 will launch 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.