Sandra Davila – Arriba la Raza
My project is to organize and run the logistics behind Elgin in Solidarity with Black Lives, a grassroots organization that educates and defends the marginalized in different ways and levels. I am in charge of creating a network of resources in order to bring trainings for colleague organizers, talking to people on a daily basis to welcome them and guide them to know where they feel most comfortable to join the movement, creating and developing different programs for BIPOC in Elgin, researching and connecting people.
Having come from Mexico at the age of 14 in 1998, I had to learn to navigate a system where my lived experience and injustices did not have a place in the mainstream. Now as a naturalized citizen, I am able to raise my voice for those who still live in fear. Community members of color have limited access to mental and emotional healing resources. The nature of immigration, as it is set up in the United States is criminal. We are set up to be criminals and feel ashamed for it.
Through my project, I would also like to offer Kingian Nonviolence workshops at free cost for organizers, activists, teachers, administrators and students. Kingian Nonviolence addresses structural, cultural and physical violence in our daily lives and in the embedded systems of oppression in institutions that are supposed to work for us, not against us.
Another program I intend to facilitate is Racial Healing. Racism affects all of us. Racism can affect us both as individuals and within our systems and institutions. It affects our ability to know, relate to and value one another. Systemic racism is one of the biggest obstacles to solving the challenges we face in our communities. Facing this reality, communities need tools to help heal from racism and its effects. To heal means to restore to wholeness, to repair damage, and to set right.