This edition of What’s on my Mind provides a brief reflection on learning “coming alive” these past several weeks as well as several updates on college and system transitions.
Today the New York Times reported on a number of stories about “A Day Without Immigrants.” The essence of the day was captured by the following narrative “The protest called for immigrants to stay home from work or school, close their businesses and abstain from shopping.” The intent of the day is to illustrate the social and economic impact of the millions of immigrants have on this country.
I don’t know if any of our students chose to stay home today from PVCC or if they have family or friends who opted to stay home from work and decline to shop in one of our local stores, what I do know is that immigrants (U.S. citizens, Resident Aliens, un-documented, etc.) are an essential part of our college family of learners.
We have immigrant students who have the fortunate legal status as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from which they are able to work and attend the Maricopa Community Colleges and pay in-state tuition. We also have students attending PVCC who are un-documented and yet find the means to support themselves while furthering their futures through education.
There are also students at PVCC who are U.S. citizens who have parents and/or other family members who have been deported and are now living on their own or with friends still striving to better their future through the power of learning.
PVCC’s learning environment is culturally enriched because of the presence of our varied and diverse student population.
Regardless of our students’ immigrant status, I ask that we embrace access to learning for all and that we take the time to empathize and support students whose immigrant status may literally put their presence in our community into question.
If the power of learning is ever unleashed at the system level taking into account both the intended and unintended consequences of the current immigration policies on the economic, cultural, and human aspects of our local communities, I am confident that solutions will be reached to better the lives of all immigrants – even yours and mine.