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Mexico City based community organizer gives lecture at BCTC

Oct 19, 2012 -

LEXINGTON, Ky. (October 19, 2012) – Itzel Polo Mendieta, a community organizer based out of Mexico City, will present the lecture “The Other Dreamers: The Struggle for Education and Work in Mexico for Deported and Returned Youth” at Bluegrass Community & Technical College Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Oswald Auditorium on Cooper Campus.

Mendieta was born in Mexico City and moved to San Francisco Tetlanohcan, a small rural community in the state in Tlaxcala, at the age of nine. She volunteered at the Indigenous Migrant Family Center (En Español: Centro de Atención a la Familia Migrante Indígena), an organization that seeks to decrease the negative impacts of migration among the relatives of those who have migrated, with emphasis on women.

She has a degree in Social Anthropology and now works with The Other Dreamers, an organizations that seeks to increase access to education for young returned migrant workers who do not have the necessary support and opportunities needed to re-integrate themselves into Mexican society and the Mexican labor force.

The Other Dreamers works to highlight corporations that profit from the record high number of deportations from the United States. These companies recruit returned migrants as they re-enter the country in order to hire a cheap and willing bilingual workforce. More than 400,000 young people have been deported to Mexico from the United States over the last four years.

As an introduction to Itzel’s presention, BCTC Latino Outreach and Student Support Services Office will announce its inclusion in a new national report DREAMING BIG: What Community Colleges Can Do to Help Undocumented Immigrant Youth Achieve Their Potential. The repot, released by the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE), offers community colleges recommendations and promising practices to improve services for undocumented students, particularly those who may be encouraged to enroll under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program announced by the Obama administration this past June. The full report and an executive summary are available at www.cccie.org.

“It is our hope that providing a space for Itzel to tell the story of ‘Los otros dreamers’ in Mexico, we as a community can fully understand how issues of migration and educational access and equality are important to us all. Such issues require holistic and human solutions,” said Erin Howard, director of BCTC Latino Outreach and Student Support Services Program. “We are proud to be highlighted in the CCCIE Dreaming Big Report because our efforts truly are making a difference to help youth fully integrate into our community by achieving a higher education.”

Witness for Peace, a politically independent, nationwide grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence, has worked with the Kentucky Dream Coalition, Enlace, Latino Outreach, and Students for Peace and Earth Justice to make this presentation possible at BCTC.

A bake sale to help offset expenses for the speaker’s travel will be hosted on Monday, Oct. 22 at 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the Oswald Lobby on the Cooper Campus.

Parking enforcement on the Cooper Campus will be off patrol the day of the lecture.