Immigrant Youth Alliance holds first statewide immigrant conference

JERSEY CITY — The Garden State is set to hold its first ever statewide immigrant youth conference on Sept. 19, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Saint Peter’s University. The conference is titled “New Jersey Immigrant Youth Conference 2015” or NJIYC 2015.
“This conference aims to provide resources and necessary skills for immigrant youth of all backgrounds to help advocate and empower for themselves and their communities,” said Catalina Adorno, one of the main organizers of the conference.
The conference will feature various workshops and information sessions on topics of interest to immigrant youth, such as available immigration relief.
“Only 1 out of nearly 20 high school seniors are able to enroll in higher education, not because they don’t qualify, but rather because they can’t afford it. There are 477 thousands immigrants in the Garden State that still live in fear of deportation. We need to build an immigrant youth movement. This makes this conference even more necessary and important,” said Ana Robelo of Anakbayan New Jersey.
The conference is hosted by Saint Peter’s University. It is being organized by the New Jersey Youth for Immigrant Liberation and is endorsed by various organizations such as the Center for Undocumented Students of Saint Peter’s University, Anakbayan New Jersey, American Friends Service Committee, Newark Student Union, Peers Educating Peers, Wind of the Spirit and Unidad Latina en Accion.
“What is particularly meaningful is that this conference is organized by immigrant youth for youth, contributing to the immigrant rights movement. As such, this conference offers an important counter¬narrative to the anti¬immigrant performances, and their underlying political structures playing out at the national level,” said Professor Jennifer Ayala, Ph.D. Associate Professor at the School of Education.

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