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Consuelo Méndez Middle School in SE Austin hosts immigration fair & forum
Immigration Forum, June 1, 2013

Consuelo Méndez Middle School in SE Austin hosts immigration fair & forum


José Luis Chávez, Blanca Gabriela Gaviño Arvizu, and Claudio (whose name I didn't catch) from the Mexican Consulate
José Luis Chávez, Blanca Gabriela Gaviño Arvizu, and Claudio from the Protection Section of the Mexican Consulate

What a joy to work with energetic, dedicated immigrants, advocates, and allies who organized an immigration forum and fair at Consuelo Méndez Middle School on Saturday, June 1st. Thank you to the AISD Family Resource Center staff Leonor Vargas, José Carrasco, and Lizzy Bowen; Montserrat Garibay and Education Austin; University Leadership Initiatives (ULI) organizers Juan Belman, Juana Guzmán, Walter Trejo, and MANY more; and Claudia Santamaría and the Austin Independent School District, the prime sponsors of the forum. Other individuals and organizations who worked for months to plan the forum included Alfredo González-Benítez, American Gateways; Paola Ferate-Soto, City of Austin Libraries; Blanca Gabriela Gaviño Arvizu and José Luis Chávez, Mexican Consulate in Austin; Sarah Woelk, Casa Marianella; Andrea Campatella, UT School of Social Work; and Paul Parsons, immigration attorney. A host of other organizations, including the Austin Police Monitor, Texas Civil Rights Project, Austin Lawyers Guild, SafePlace, CommunityCare, the Bernardo Kohler Center — oops I am asking for trouble now because I won’t remember everyone! — came to offer their varied services to immigrants. Although this forum was especially designed for the large Spanish-speaking immigrant community in the Dove Springs area and Southeast Austin, these organizations of course offer their services to immigrants from all over the world who live in Austin.

Click HERE for KUT’s report on the day.  I’m posting just a few photos I took of the people in the Méndez main lobby as we were setting up for the forum. I apologize to the new friends whose names I didn’t catch!  Sooo many nice people to meet!!

We’re already talking about what days & time would be best for our next forum, which we’re planning for September.

Alfredo González-Benítez of American Gateways at the Méndez Immigration Forum, Saturday, June 1, 2013
Alfredo González-Benítez, volunteer and outreach coordinator at American Gateways helped plan the forum.
SafePlace came!  June 1, 2013 SafePlace sent representatives to share information about the services they offer to women and children — including immigrants regardless of status —  who have experienced abuse from a parent, spouse, or partner.
Walter Fernando Trejo Ríos, ULI organizer extraordinaire.
ULI on June 1, 2013, Mendez
ULI organizers Jonathan, Juana Guzmán, and Deborah Alemu. ULI youth are dreamers who create new realities.
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