For Immediate Release
July 26, 2012
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Contacts:Joyce Yin, NAKASEC, firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-299-9540 Youngsun Song, KRCC, email@example.com | 773-717-5428 Dayne Lee, KRC, firstname.lastname@example.org | 323-937-3718
NAKASEC Social Justice Camp Trains New Generation of Community Organizers and Fight for Access to Education
Youth leaders come to Washington, DC to protect the Maryland DREAM Act
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, July 26, 10 young leaders from California, Illinois, and Virginia will arrive in Washington DC to lead efforts to educate the Korean American and Asian American community on the Maryland DREAM Act and mobilize voters in support of the legislation during the November election. Youth will also participate in a 3-day “Social Justice Camp” coordinated by National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles and KRCC (Korean American Resource and Cultural Center) in Chicago to further develop their organizing and advocacy skills on issues impacting the community.
“The Maryland DREAM Act, like other in-state tuition bills such as in California and Illinois, is critical to ensuring that higher education remains accessible for all young people,” said Joyce Yin, NAKASEC program associate. “While this legislation specifically impacts youth living in Maryland, young people across the country recognize the significance of this fight and they are coming to Maryland to protect the fundamental right to an education for all.”
In April 2011, the Maryland Senate approved the Maryland DREAM Act, a bill that would grant all eligible students who have lived in Maryland, graduated from a Maryland high school, and whose family paid taxes in the state the option to pay in-state tuition at public colleges regardless of immigration status. However, the law has been put to a referendum and remains in pending status until the statewide vote on November 6, 2012. Approximately 300,000 Asian Americans live in Maryland and nationally, 1 in 10 undocumented youth are AAPI.
Upon arrival, youth will take part in a “Social Justice Camp” to learn from each other, understand how their story connects to a broader social justice movement and become trained on community organizing skills. During the week of July 30, they will put these new skills into action and will conduct outreach to the Maryland Korean American and Asian American community on the importance of the Maryland DREAM Act. These efforts will be in coordination with CASA de Maryland, one of the lead immigrant rights organizations leading the charge on the referendum.
Isaac, a youth participant from Los Angeles, CA, said: “As a student in high school, I want real hands-on opportunities to advocate for something I am passionate about.”
“We are excited that youth from Orange County and Los Angeles will have the chance to meet fellow youth leaders from across the country and support the fight for the Maryland DREAM Act and immigrant rights in Maryland,” said Dayne Lee, the KRC Civic Participation Coordinator Youth. “Organizers have the potential to enact progressive, grass-roots change through the ballot box, their schools, and their neighborhoods. These youth are part of a new generation of community organizers who will be able to make change in our country.”
The Social Justice Camp is in part made possible by the support of Southwest Airlines.
Photo Opportunities Available: Outreach events in Maryland where youth will be in action educating community members and registering voters. Please contact Dong Yoon Kim (202-299-9540) for more information.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a national progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans as a part of a greater goal of building a national movement for social change. NAKASEC is based D.C. and Los Angeles. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).