BIRC Stands In Solidarity With Gaza

On Saturday November 17th, 2012, Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition took action in solidarity with Brown Students for Justice in Palestine and our Palestinian sisters and brothers in Gaza. We had a silent precession through Thayer street that culminated in a 50 people rally and speakers. 

Below are pictures from the event and an info sheet describing Gaza’s situation. Stay tuned next week for an article further explaining BIRC’s and BSJP’s alliance!



As we walked down Thayer street, we passed flyers informing the community about the situation.


Palestinian deaths are often seen as unimportant, so we honored the victims by holding some of their names.



Rally at Waterman and Thayer intersection.



Symbolic picture that will be send via photograph to colleagues in Palestine. 


Eduarda, from BSJP, talking about current efforts to persuade Brown to divest from companies that profit from Israeli occupation


Facts about Gaza– by BSJP:


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BIRC Sponsors Immigration Week on campus

From October 15th-21st, BIRC will be partnering with other student organizations around campus for Immigration Week. Immigration Week is dedicated to raising awareness about issues surrounding immigration reform in America. We hope to challenge the Brown community to think about citizenship and what it means to be a citizen. Is it a legal framework of papers and visas, or is it something more?

Events for the week:
Monday (Oct 15th): Keynote speaker Jose Vargas is coming to Brown to share his own story as an undocumented journalist
Tuesday (Oct 16th): Student panel on immigration and citizenship
Wednesday (Oct 17th): Senator Robert Meza (D-AZ) is coming to Brown to speak about the Arizonization of America
Thursday (Oct 18th): A border art installation will be installed on the main green.
Friday (Oct 19th): Roger Bonair-Agard, a poet from Trinidad and Tobago, will be performing at Brown.
Sunday (Oct 21st): The Multiracial Heritage Series will be hosting its annual parents’ weekend brunch with a central theme of immigration and family.

More information to come shortly.

BIRC is partnering with the following sponsors to bring you this amazing week: the TWC, the Asian/Asian American Heritage Series, the Latino Heritage Series, the Black Heritage Series, the Multiracial Heritage Series, and the Taubman Center.

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BIRC supports H7340 — Access to higher education for ALL

Today, Rhode Island undocumented youth, members of the Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition, and allies (CASO, ACLU, and others) made our voices heard at the Rhode Island state house in support of H7340 – Tuition Equity. Members of BIRC testified in committee in support of in-state tuition–in support of access to higher education for ALL.

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BIRC hosts Professor Aviva Chomsky and the CIW (Coalition of Immokalee Workers): “The Roots of Migration”

Activist and Professor of History at Salem State University, Aviva Chomsky, will be providing us with an in-depth analysis (followed by a discussion) on the roots of migration. What histories and economic forces move people to leave their families and communities? Moreover, how do these factors shape who is allowed to migrate and who isn’t?

Joining Professor Chomsky will be members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

organized by the Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition and Fair Food Providence.

When: April 12, 2012 @ 4:00p
Where: Kassar House FOX Auditorium, Brown University

by Lucy

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Queer and Undocumented: Opening up the Dialogue on Queer Immigrants

The Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition invites you to join Juan Rodriguez and Felipe Matos on their talk titled: “Opening up the Dialogue on Queer Immigrants: Reclaiming the Sum of our Parts.” This will be a round table conversation about the intersection between different …systems of oppression as they play out in people’s personal lives. Felipe Matos and Juan Rodriguez, both organizers for the immigrant rights movement had to face a personal struggle in reconciling their experiences as queer couple in a patriarchal and homophobic movement. Juan and Felipe will talk about ways to open up space for the expression of different experiences and identities in movements as well as key strategies to open up dialogue in general. They will achieve these goals by engaging participants in discussions about their identity and their vision of a social movement.

Sponsored by: The Queer Alliance Community Committee (ComCom), Coordinating Committee, and Queer Politics Action Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, Office of Institutional Diversity, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the LGBTQ Center.
Short bios of Felipe and Juan:

Felipe Matos:
A graduate from the Honors College at Miami Dade College, he was born to a single mother in the slums of Brazil. Felipe was sent at age 14 to the United States where he first dreamed of becoming a teacher, following the lessons of his mother that ‘Education is the only path out of poverty’. Felipe is currently studying Business and Administration at St. Thomas University and hopes that one day he will be able to teach young people. Currently, he serves his community in finding leaders to speak for the contribution of immigrants in the state of Florida in collaboration with Presente Action. He has served in the Board of Directors of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, a core leader of Students Working for Equal Rights, was Southeast Regional coordinator for United WE DREAM in 2011. Felipe is also one of four students that walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington, D.C. to highlight the plight of migrant families and the need for humane reform. This project was called the Trail of DREAMs.

Juan Rodriguez:
Since high school, Juan Rodriguez has been an organizer and advocate for minority, displaced, low-income youth raised in the United States. In 2008, he coordinated undocumented youth to engage over 3,000 of their citizen peers to register and go out to vote with the “Vote for Me campaign” and co-founded the Social Justice Scholars Fund at the Florida Immigrant Coalition. In 2009, Juan was one of four youth from Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER) that led a national mobilization called the “Trail of Dreams” which engaged more than 60,000 active participants through social networking, media appearances, and a mobile action network. Juan is a proud graduate in Business Administration from Miami Dade College and is currently completing a Sociology and Anthropology Degree at Florida International University.

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Second Annual Tam Tran Scholarship Dinner


Last year, the Tam Tran Scholarship was created in order to honor the life and memory of Tam Ngoc Tran, a doctorate student in the American Civilization department who passed away in the Spring of 2010 in a tragic car accident.While at Brown, Tam fought tirelessly to advance the rights of undocumented immigrant youth seeking to pursue their college degrees. As an undocumented student herself, Tam helped create the immigrants’ rights group IDEAS at UCLA and later the Brown Immigrants’ Rights Coalition here at Brown.

On Friday, November 11th, at 7 p.m. in Sayles Hall, please join us in celebrating the life and memory of Tam Tran. Dinner will include a diverse array of delicious food from local restaurants as well as a showcase of live performances and speakers.

Tickets for the event are $10 for students, $15 for adults, or $20 at the door and will be sold starting this week in JWW. All proceeds from this event will be donated directly to the Tam Tran Scholarship Fund which is aimed at providing undocumented youth in Rhode Island opportunities for higher education. Please RSVP below at your earliest convenience. Tell your friends and family!

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BIRC holds press conference + rally in support of halting Shamir Ali’s deportation

On Wednesday, October 19, ICE picked up 25-year-old Shamir Amirali Ali in a workplace raid in Florida.

Shamir can be deported to Bangladesh any day because of a previous deportation order. He is currently being held at the Broward Detention Center in Florida. His lawyers have filed a deferred action request, but we have not heard back from ICE on whether it will be honored.

On Tuesday, BIRC, along with a group of community leaders, activists, and Dreamers held a national day of action across the US: Boston, MA; New Haven, CT; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; Yadkinville, NC; Austin, TX; and Washington, DC.

Two members of BIRC: Alejo, and Deivid spoke about Shamir’s case and how what happened to Shamir could happen to any undocumented youth at any time-“We Are All Shamir.” Victoria Ruiz, member of the Olneyville Neighborhood Association and the “Todos Somos Arizona” (We Are All Arizona) coalition spoke of the larger struggle for immigrant rights and the urgent need for Obama to halt deportations.

Over 60 students and community members attended the press conference.

Check out the press coverage below:

Below are some images of the press conference:

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Folks signing the petition to halt Shamir’s deportation
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