On Monday, February 27th, members of the undocumented community, with support from Momentum Alliance and other allies, gathered outside of the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) building in Southwest Portland. Jhoana is a community organizer with Oregon DreamActivists and was a speaker at the Coming out of The Shadows rally. After the rally, we asked her about her experience as a speaker and as a participant.
What do you think made this Coming out of The Shadows rally successful?
J: I think it was successful because our community, especially our speakers, felt empowered and fearless by facing an oppressor (in this case ICE). The rally was also a success because at the end of the day, no one was arrested by the police or ICE. It was great to see so many community members and organizations coming together to show solidarity. Seeing this solidarity made me feel that my community had and has my back.
What lesson(s) did you learned from the event?
J: One lesson that I learned was to be able to recognize that not everyone has the same privilege as I do, since I am a DACA recipient. Having DACA made me realize her privilege and how those who don’t have DACA and are undocumented need more resources and support. As an organizers I also realized how much fear there is in our community and the reactions of those around me.
What’s next for you?
J: What is next is to continue the fight by sharing my story and to keepencouraging DACA & Undocumented people to speak out, as well. I will continue to encourage folks to show up in the spaces where decisions about their lives are being debated or talked about. I also believe that allies need to continue to show up at rallies like this and speak up when injustice is happening. I will continue my community organizing with a community led group called Oregon DreamActivist which will focus on 3 areas: Educate, Advocate and Escalate.
(Shout-outs and more photos here.)
Learn more about our Coming Out of the Shadows rally from local + national media coverage: