A Leader's Reflection on Citizenship For All
Mariela is a leader at the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council and recently was one of 8 community members who traveled to Washington D.C. to fight for Citizenship for all. Here's Mariela's reflection on the trip:
"This experience felt similarly to laying under a weight.
Thinking of the fear and anxiety that immigration, ICE and a criminalizing system that is the main source of our communities distress.
We seek a solution to a problem that is at times too much to handle.
Most often we’ve all felt alone and like we could never talk about it or the humiliation that accompanies it.
But in the middle of a march when you can hear the tremble in our voices.
This feeling is both contagious and engulfing.
It is letting fear any fear be taken by the chants and the hope in all the faces you see.
At the same time, however, the despair is there lingering, the anger is there too
It feels like our community is so used to our stories of trauma all terrible some more than others
There is no comparison to be made, the trauma faced is loud and clear
We know sharing our stories holds immense power
but sometimes it feels dehumanizing
it feels like revictimization
to give us a sense of becoming human to those in power who turn a blind eye or decide to not take a stance
whether it is because it didn’t affect them or their families personally, a privilege some of us don’t have
But it is not an excuse for inaction
We want the weight off our shoulders and lives so we can experience true freedom."