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UndocuCarolina is a collaboration of the Carolina Latinx Center, LatinxEd, and students, faculty, staff, and community members. Together we are working to increase visibility, support, and resources for members of the Carolina community living with the effects of undocumentation.

 

Context

For more than a quarter century our state has led the South as a new immigrant destination. Fifteen percent of North Carolinians are immigrants or children of immigrants. That’s over one and a half million people. Nearly 150,000 are undocumented, college-aged, young adults. Another 170,000 are U.S. citizen children living with an undocumented family member. All of should have a shot at a good education like the kind offered here at UNC.

Undocumented students have long organized for visibility, inclusion, and equality on UNC’s campus. In 2013, Emilio Vicente and Pablo Friedmann launched the One State One Rate Campaign to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students. In the years since, student- and staff-led organizing around the rescission of DACA, local ICE raids, and other violations of immigrant rights led the Office of the Executive Vice Provost to create the DACA/Undocumented Resource Team. 

 

Our Work

Since 2018 UndocuCarolina has offered programming on and off campus to generate a well-informed public dialogue on the topic of immigration and build a more inclusive and just community for all. With support from Humanities for the Public Good, UNC Global, and fifteen other units across campus, UndocuCarolina is opening spaces to examine and better appreciate the contours of present day immigration policy and the causes and consequences of living undocumented. 

UndocuCarolina has hosted roundtable conversations on DACA, the Muslim Ban, sanctuary movements, and the health implications of undocumented status. It has organized public lectures by renowned immigration scholars. And to date it has trained over 250 staff members from across 25 campus offices on the policy landscape shaping access to educational opportunities for undocumented students and best practices for navigating relationships with undocumented and DACAmented students.

Today UndocuCarolina is sustaining its core programming and growing a trainer network to better respond to the enthusiastic demand for its ally trainings. UndocuCarolina is also expanding its work beyond campus with a focus on K-12 educators, medical providers, and community organizations who come into regular contact with our students, their families, and the broader undocumented and immigrant communities in our state.

 

Our Leadership Team

Angela Stuesse is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Global Studies at UNC.  She is broadly interested in the causes and consequences of social inequality, with a focus on immigration, race, labor, and the methodologies of activist research. Her first book, Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South, explores how new Latino migration into Mississippi’s poultry industry has impacted communities and prospects for worker organizing. She is currently working on her second book, #FreeDany: Dreaming and Detention in Dixie. Co-authored with its protagonist, Dany Vargas, #FreeDany explores U.S. immigration policy and discourse across the twenty-first century through the life story of one Dreamer and her family.

 

 

Barbara Sostaita is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at The University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (UNC). Before coming to UNC, she completed a Master of Arts in Religion at Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and International Relations at Salem College. A formerly undocumented Latinx immigrant, her dissertation is an (auto)ethnographic experiment in unsettling sanctuary. Focused on mutual aid at the Mexico-United States borderlands, Barbara documents moments of care and intimacy that expose the impermanence and instability of border militarization.

 

 

Todd Ramón Ochoa is an Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department at UNC. His first book, Society of the Dead, is an ethnography of a Cuban-Kongo society of affliction, and its healing-harming practices at the turn of the 21st century. His second book is about an African-inspired community in rural central Cuba. This book describes the healing feasts, called bembés, which focus and intensify life in a small town. It is an engagement with questions of materiality, cultural recombination, and excess, in Cuban religious life.

 

 

Raul Pinto is a Staff Attorney in the Immigrants and Refugees Rights Project with the North Carolina Justice Center. Prior to joining the Justice Center Raul worked as an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. At the ACLU of NC, Raul’s work focused on investigating violations of civil rights with an emphasis on immigrants’ rights, racial justice and community interaction with law enforcement. Raul also conducted extensive public education about constitutional rights to Spanish speaking audiences, as well as developing written materials in Spanish about protecting civil liberties. Raul received his BA from Rutgers University and his law degree from the City University of New York School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and New York.

 

 

Emil’ Keme is a K’iche’ Maya scholar, from Iximulew (Guatemala), and an Associate Professor of Spanish. His teaching and research interests focus on contemporary Indigenous literatures and social movements, Central American-American literatures and cultures, and post-colonial and subaltern studies theory. He has been concerned with contemporary Indigenous textual production and how indigenous intellectuals challenge hegemonic traditional constructions of the Indigenous world, history, the nation-state and modernity in order to not only redefine the discursive and political nature of these hegemonic narratives, but also interethnic or intercultural relations. His broader cultural and theoretical interests cluster around areas involving themes of colonialism as these relate to issues of nationhood, national identity, race/ethnicity and gender. He is the author of Maya Nationalisms and Postcolonial Challenges in Guatemala and Le Maya Q’atzij/Our Maya Word. Poetics of Resistance and Emancipation from Iximulew/Guatemala (1960-2012).

 

Ricky Hurtado is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of LatinxEd. In this capacity, Ricky helps lead the effort to break down barriers to success for first-generation college students and expand opportunity for immigrant families in North Carolina. Throughout his personal and professional experiences, Ricky has worked to find the intersection of immigrant rights and racial justice issues in an effort to unite communities and mobilize support for programs and policies advancing equity.

 

Josmell Perez was born in Lima, Peru and moved at the age of 5 with his family to Northern New Jersey. He graduated from Muhlenberg College witha degree in Psychology and Spanish and earned his graduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Education. He was involved in the formation of the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative and now serves as the Center’s director. Prior to coming to Carolina in 2007 he worked as Assistant Director of Admissions and Multicultural Recruitment Director for Moravian College, where he led an initiative that resulted in the doubling of multicultural student enrollment. He also served as an Admissions Counselor at Ohio University in Athens, where his territory was the northwest part of the state.

 

Rubi Franco Quiroz is a MSW candidate at the UNC School of Social Work and founder of Apoyo, a local grassroots organization that works to build a unified, self-protecting community for undocumented people. She is also a board member of Pupusas for Education. Rubi is a Mexican, first generation undergraduate alumna and graduate student of UNC Chapel Hill. She obtained her Bachelors in Communication, specialized in Interpersonal Relations and Organization, along with a double minor in French and Hispanic Studies. As a member of the undocumented community herself, Rubi is passionate about supporting undocumented students on their path to higher education. Her four year journey at Carolina consisted of building resources for undocumented students, including serving on the Provost’s DACA and Undocumented Resource Team.