Tag

social justice

Carlos & Safiya

Immigration & tSB

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Last week we celebrated May Day with a program focused on immigration. Many tSB participants understand the challenges and beauty of being an immigrant first hand, or see it on a daily basis. To set the tone, we invited tSB alumnus and recent 2014 Youth Speaks Seattle Grand Slam Champion Carlos Nieto to share one of his poems:

This is for every time a politician on the news made you feel less than human.
This is for wanting to go to college but being the only person in your class that can’t sign up for FAFSA.
This is for being afraid to tell people where you’re from.
This is for being of ashamed of telling your best friends where your mom works.
This is for watching your mom work so hard for years just to feel American.
This is for silenced voices and tired dreams.
You wouldn’t think I was an immigrant.
Yes, I understand your pop-culture references,
I hit my Dougie with you,
I laugh with you,
I do homework with you,
I fought with you,
I fought for you,
I am dating you,
I am your best friend,
The person who told you you dropped your wallet this morning on the bus,
I am serving your drinks,
Taking care of your kids,
I even speak the same language as you. I barely have my accent anymore.
Even my clothes don’t give me away: shirt from Columbia, boxers from Portugal, hat from Peru, shit even our clothes our immigrants too!
So why do you hate me so much?
Why do you call me illegal? As if existing was a crime.
White American, conservative politicians, I am not illegal.
I am not a criminal.
Criminal is profiting off of people being stuck in a prison cell.
Criminal is denying food stamps to people who actually need them.
Criminal is tearing apart families that are already on three legs.
Criminal is feeling unsafe in Arizona.
Criminal is killing people at the border instead of detaining them.
Criminal are free trade agreements that screw over farm workers, why do you think we are here in the first place?
Do not talk to me about criminal, America. The only reason I go to college, as cliché as it sounds, is it to one day have a good enough job to my mom a house she can call her own because God only knows how much she has sacrificed for me.
Talking about how “illegal aliens mooch off the system.”
We pay taxes just like you: Sales, property, federal, you name it!
Talking about how “letting illegal aliens are running this country to the ground by stealing all the jobs.
WE DO NOT STEAL YOUR JOBS. We steal your jobs the same way people of color steal white people’s places at universities, WE DO NOT STEAL YOUR JOBS.
IF WE STEAL YOUR JOBS THEN YOU STOLE THIS LAND, except that’s actually true.
We wake up in the morning to go to work just like you.
Never seen.
On the run.
We don’t run this shit but we make this shit run. You’re welcome for the $300 billion in your social security trust fund. WE will NEVER see a penny of it.
You need us America. You have always needed us.
Who do you think built you? What do you think you’re made out of?
So stop throwing money at the border expecting us to go away.
Stop trying to push us under the rug.
Stop talking about “catch and release” methods as if we are animals.
We are human.
We are human just like you.
We are Americans just like you.
We are immigrants. Just. Like. You.

Poem by Carols Nieto, tSB class of 2011 & 2012

May Day with tSB

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While the rest of the city celebrated, pushed forward or convulsed within it’s self after the May Day march and rally, the youth at tSB wanted to continue in the expositive spirit of May 1st and held a panel discussion and workshop with immigration rights group One America. The panel was kicked off by tSB Alumni and former peer leader Carlos who has dealt with the struggles of being an undocumented teen in Seattle. Second was Rawha Habte from One America spoke of her experience as a refugee from east Africa and what lead her to want to champion the rights of others. After which Rawha lead the entire group an a workshop on awareness of immigration issues. After some reflection time in small groups one youth peer leader Juan-Giovanni Williams Harris had this to say:

I think it [the current system] is unfair and very unjust due to the fact this country is based of immigration for means of bettering the conditions for oneself or family. It’s wrong to deny that right to anyone else because all they wish to do is be on the road of happiness – and the freedom land known as America has been known as putting people in a less trafficky lane to closer be to that success. Especially when one works harder than most of the native inhabitants of this country for less pay. It is very hypocritical and the American government needs to make it easier for immigrants to become citizens.

A very personal issue to many of the people associated with the Service Board the discussion and work around this topic isn’t finished by a long shot.

tSB Summer Recap

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Last week we showed off our summer program accomplishments with a tSB art gallery opening at the Piranha Shop. More than 50 people came through to see their photography, silk screens, drawings and blown glass. After student speeches and a graduation ceremony, we premiered their culminating project: this awesome tSB video.

the Service Board – Summer Workshop 2012 from the Service Board on Vimeo.

With help from the rad women at Puget Sound Creative, tSB students learned to storyboard, film, interview and edit to produce the following documentary. Please enjoy, and if you’re inspired, consider making a donation to support more of this kind of programming and vote for tSB through the Chase Community Giving campaign!

POVERTY BANQUET

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Nom nom time!

Experiencing class differences when it comes to eating, and examining the reality of the conflicts amongst classes in the world today. Also celebrating tSB’s Executive Director Ashley Miller’s birthday!

More at jaychanphoto.com/tsb