May 8, 2019—The Dreamers Working Group (DWG) includes staff, faculty, graduate students, and community members committed to creating a community of welcome and support for undocumented and Dreamer students, students with DACA, and students in mixed-status families.
One way the DWG builds this support and community is through education and training outreach on the UO campus. Working in collaboration with CLLAS, UO professor Ellen McWhirter (counseling psychology) developed an hour-long info-session to build understanding of the realities faced by students with precarious status. DWG volunteers have led approximately 40 info-sessions since winter 2017, offering these educational opportunity units all over campus and beyond. Julie Weise, associate professor of history, created the Dreamers Ally Training initiative in fall 2017. Since then the DWG has held six robust, four-hour training sessions, training almost 400 staff, faculty, and graduate employees as allies.
As director of Multicultural and Identity-based Support Services and chair of the DWG, Justine Carpenter focuses on direct student support and access and prioritizes student-facing work. The successful Duck Funder campaign—and other fundraising activities that created a scholarship for undocumented & Dreamer students—has been at the center of this work. Nine students received scholarships for spring 2019 and six to nine scholarships will be awarded for AY 2019-2020. The UO Dreamers webpage has also been reoriented toward student access and includes useful information on financial aid, scholarships, wellness, and student support and resources.
The DWG is ready to build upon the foundation of volunteerism, ally membership, and administrative support to institutionalize strides taken in education, training and outreach for campus partners and access and advocacy for student success. New initiatives include: 1) community outreach to bridge the divide between campus and the Eugene-Springfield community; and 2) development of more effective legal support for undocumented and Dreamer students, students with DACA, and students from mixed-status families. The DWG has made progress toward the first goal of community outreach with a committee dedicated to connecting more effectively with community leaders and Eugene/Springfield school districts and libraries, and welcoming community members to campus more effectively with projects like creating a Spanish-language map of the UO, planning a community reception, and sharing the Latino Roots exhibit.
The DWG needs the help of allies and experts in pursuit of the second goal of developing more effective legal support for our students, however. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
— Feather Crawford, the CLLAS event & program coordinator, also works as a part-time coordinator for the Dreamers Working Group.