Meet Maria Castro with ADAC, aka the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition. As part of our support to local progressive NGOs working in Arizona, we developed this short Q&A to highlight the inspirational people and to understand what, exactly grassroots organizers could use the Netroots Nation support on. This is what Maria said.
Why do you work on immigration/migration issues?
I began working for migrant rights at the early age of 16, when I was a sophomore at Carl Hayden High School. Immigration is in my blood, my mother was deported when I was 12 years old and it was difficult for me to try and fill her shoes, as a mom, a maid, a student, and a baby sitter for my younger sister who was 5 at the time. I fight because no one deserves to be in that position because of this system designed to keep us oppressed.
What have you learned over the course of time that you wish other organizers and community members also knew?
I wish someone would have encouraged me to do more research on the complexity of the system we are fighting against. Sometimes we become so narrow-minded when we are in “campaign mode” we don’t realize there’s a bigger battle we are a part of. It’s important to not only train people in basic organizing skills but to feed our mind with real history told by our very own people.
How can we as a group support your work?
Join ADAC and become a member. We also encourage all of you who are eligible to apply for DACA and feel free to reach out for more information and opportunities to get involved.
#AZDispatch is a Netroots Nation project created to expose some of the most unjust practices in our current immigration system and to elevate the stories and voices of local activists fighting back against those practices. Click here to sign up for our AZDispatch Action list.