High School Students Supporting Tuition Equity in Florida

As our volunteers continue their visits to high schools in Collier County, they continue to find that support for tuition equity for all students in Florida is overwhelming. Earlier this week, our state House of Representatives passed HB 851, (In-State Tuition for All Florida graduates, regardless of immigration status)  out of its last committee unanimously. While we still have to wait until it reaches the house floor, the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project and several other organizations in the state have been mobilizing and collecting signatures for the state-wide petition that was created in favor of tuition equity for undocumented students.

We need your help! Please, consider adding your name to the already hundreds of names supporting these measures. You can submit your signature electronically HERE and forward it to friends and family. Let’s show our legislators that this is something that we not only want, but also need! Once you’ve done that, show your support visually by submitting an image of yourself holding a sign similar to our high school students below! Email your image to rommy@collierstoriesmatter.org  and we will make sure to showcase you on our Facebook and blog!

Lely High School Students Showing Support

Lely High School Students Showing Support

Gulf Coast High School Students Showing Support

Gulf Coast High School Students Showing Support

Educators and Volunteers Showing Support

Educators and Volunteers Showing Support

Art for Dignity and Justice

I had the great privilege to create a piece on behalf of the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project for the October 5th National Day of Action March for Dignity and Justice! The piece is currently featured on Culture Strike and Not1MoreDeportation. We, as CCNSP, are very humbled to be able be part of such a pivotal moment for our communities and we will continue demanding dignity and justice for as long as it takes! We hope to see you all out on October 5th, too!

Feel free to share the graphic widely through your social networks! Please, credit Rommy Torrico and link back to collierstoriesmatter.org or blog.collierstoriesmatter.org. We hope to get prints soon so if you’re interested, feel free to email us with your name and the quantity so that we have an idea of how many we will need to order. Send all inquires to rommy@collierstoriesmatter.org

CS real final_1_EDITS_SPAN_letter

Also featured on Not1MoreDeportation is our Paletero piece! We will have 5×8 postcards available on donation at our trainings, events and online. Keep a look out!

icecream

Y Volver

62468_4548416756365_1751348120_nMy name is Rommy Torrico and I am the proud undocumented daughter of two amazing immigrants.

We came to this country on July 16, 1994 with dreams; with a vision of what we would do and what our lives could be like. I remember the first time I ever stepped foot here was at the Miami International Airport. A surge or excitement pulsed through me but mostly I was sleepy because we arrived late at night. However, that didn’t take away from the fact that this was the land of dreams. I remember sitting on my father’s lap, my head cradled in the nook of his neck as we waited for someone to come pick us up. At some point before nodding off, I looked down to see two huge suitcases. They were green, looked brand new and carried a treasure inside. Everything from our past life was in there. As far as I knew at my ripe 5 years, my whole world was in there. What I didn’t know was that my world was about to get bigger.

We’ve carried on these past 19 years still in search of the dreams we came to find. We realized that things here were very different than we had expected. Being undocumented created a world full of limitations and uncertainty that we hadn’t prepared for. Yet, we’ve made it through. Struggle after struggle, we’ve had the privilege and good fortune to stay afloat. And here we are, 19 years later… my father is now a legal permanent resident, my mother is in the process of adjusting her status, my sister is a naturalized citizen and I have temporary relief through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

It’s been quite a journey that life has taken us on. My parents have been put to the test time after time and have had to make immense sacrifices along the way. One of the hardest sacrifices and one of things I believe my father most regrets most was not being able to see his mother before she passed because his status wouldn’t allow him to leave and return. After that, he promised himself that he would visit as soon as he got the chance.

And that opportunity came on September 12, 2013. My father took his first trip back to Chile to visit a family that hadn’t seen him in almost 20 years and to visit his mother’s resting place.

8310_10151650065408341_129053921_n

When my mother, my sister and I went to drop him off at the airport, the same airport we had arrived at almost 20 years ago, all the memories of our arrival came flooding back. Things at the airport looked different, smelled different but it all felt the same. That same rush of excitement rushed through us and most importantly, we were all there together as we had been back in 1994. As my dad went through his last checkpoint, I noticed for the first time the suitcases he was pulling along were the same ones I remembered during my first time in that same airport. They were green as ever, looking brand new but this time they were holding a new treasure inside; a testament to our strength as a family. Our life was changing once again and now we’re ready for anything. We’ve come full circle.

In an attempt to honor my father’s sacrifice and those fathers like mine, whose only desires are to protect and support their families, I have created a short film of the 24 hours leading up to his big trip to Chile.

I humbly submit this request to you to please watch this video, which demonstrates a small vignette of our lives and that of my parents. We acknowledge our privilege in this new world of mixed statuses and “documentation”; and this is why I want to continue fighting: because our reality shouldn’t revolve around pieces of paper.

We are human. 

The competition will allow our local work to continue as I will donate part of the proceeds to CCNSP and the rest to my parents.

Please share our video and share the stories-the real stories-of what it means to be human without papers.

CommUnity Portrait Project

There is a fountain of strength and power within our stories and our communities that we must not forget. These are some of the many faces of the struggle against immigration enforcement in SW Florida. El pueblo presente, el poder se siente!

*All photographs are part of the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project. Credit to Rommy Torrico.

EXTENDED DEADLINE OCT 15!!! Alza Tu Voz: “Our Immigrant Communities” Art Contest

Calling all artists! 

About the Art Show

The Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project will be hosting its first ever art exhibit series showcasing the work of socially conscious artists from Florida and beyond. This show will serve as a fundraiser for our community bail and service fund.

The art exhibit will be a series of shows across the Naples and Immokalee area that will start in November. The shows are themed “Our Immigrant Communities” and artists are to connect their pieces to interpret the meaning of that phrase.

Details on the Submission of Art Pieces 

We are calling all artists, far and wide, to submit and donate art pieces using any type of medium. Be it painting, photography, sculpture, digital graphic, drawing- we want to showcase it! The pieces will be sold with all proceeds going to our community bail and service fund to establish immediate financial support for families that cannot afford bail for their loved ones in detention.

We humbly ask artists to donate their pieces in order to make this fundraiser a success. Please contact Alicia at alicia@collierstoriesmatter.org if you have questions regarding the submission of pieces.

Theme: Our Immigrant Communities

All pieces should tie back to the main theme and artists should expand on their own interpretation of images that show opposition to the unjust deportations of individuals in our community and that also show hope for a new future by fighting back. All artists will be showcased for their work with the possibility of possible reproduction of any digital works or paintings that have uplifting and positive undertones. Organizations in the state will be invited to bid on some of the works for possible poster reproduction.

Types of mediums (not an exhaustive list). Whatever you submit must be your own creation:

  • Drawing/painting
  • Sculpting
  • Music
  • Poetry/Spoken Word
  • Jewerly
  • Pottery
  • Wood Work

You can enter anything you created with your own two hands and that stands for something. We are open to anything!

All pieces must be submitted by October 15th. They should include your full name, a description of yourself, the name of the piece, a description of the piece, why you made it and the medium you used. If you wish to remain anonymous, please email us. 

*If you have any, send us some of your personal business cards so that we can have that as part of your piece exhibit.

Email digital work to Alicia at alicia@collierstoriesmatter.org or Rommy at rommy@collierstoriesmatter.org

Mail other types of work to Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project at 15275 Collier Blvd #201-152 Naples, FL 34119. Please notify us prior to mailing in order to make sure there are no problems.

Concurso de Arte: Campaña “Alza Tu Voz” extendido hasta el 15 DE OCTUBRE!

CONCURSO DE ARTE DEL SUROESTE DE LA FLORIDA

¿Te gusta dibujar o pintar?

¿Eres un maestro en el diseño en la computadora?

¿Siempre estas tomando fotos?

¿Has estado atraido al arte desde pequeño?

Entonces tu eres a quien buscamos! Este es un llamado general para todos los individuos creativos en la comunidad quienes desean compartir su trabajo con nosotros, con la esperanza de crear una galeria virtual que cree una conciencia colectiva.  Cada artista será creditado por su trabajo, el cual será exhibido por la red, también en nuestros entrenamientos en el suroeste de la Florida, y en los convenios que tomarán lugar a nivel estatal. Imagenes de los condados de Collier, Lee y Hendry son recomendados para el concurso pero no es requerido ser de estas areas.

Lo que buscamos: Queremos imagenes que muestren las injusticias que estan pasando dadas a las deportaciones de miembros de nuestra comunidad pero también, imagenes que muestren el sentimiento de lucha y esperanza que caracteriza a la comunidad inmigrante.

Premio: $200 en efectivo y la oportunidad de imprimir sus imagenes en posters y exhibirlos a nivel estatal. Hay muchas organizaciones buscando diseños para estas luchas!

Plazo: 15 de octubre

Specificaciones: Su arte deberia de ser suya y duplicable ( o de una manera de poder escanearla y esta limitada a 12¨x16¨) Todos los trabajos  digitales deberian de estar sometidos en el formato jpeg o pdf con una resolución de 300dpi y el tamaño deberia de ser entre 8×11, 11×14, 16×20, o 18×24, dependiendo en lo que le encaje a su arte)

Mande su arte por correo electronico con un titulo, algunos oraciones explicando la inspiración tras su arte, su nombre (solo requeremos su primer nombre o incluso puede ser anónimo), su edad y número de telefono o correo electronico.

Nota: Si su archivo es muy grande y no se puede mandar por correo electronico, mande un correo a Rommy@collierstoriesmatter.org para saber como resolver el problema.  

Contacte: mande todo a rommy@collierstoriesmatter.org o mande por correo a Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project al 15275 Collier Blvd #201-152 Naples, FL 34119