August 30, 2012
On August 14-17, I and five other members of the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) followed the No Papers No Fear Ride to their stops in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama. Those four days made me optimistic of the growth our community and movement is making.
The strength and courage the people on the bus have is inspiring as it shows the determination they have to live and organize without fear. Since the first day that we arrived in Memphis, we realized the diversity and intergenerational make up of the bus. The people telling their stories in public community events were of all ages and various backgrounds.
As somebody who has participated in the Coming Out of the Shadows rally in Chicago, I was excited to see adults coming out alongside youth. Every person who shared his or her story through words, theater, dance, or poetry did it with conviction. They spoke without shame and were unapologetic and unafraid.