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migration is beautiful
“Migration is beautiful” – Art by Favianna Rodriguez

Check out these movies and documentaries written by and centering the stories of immigrants.


“Papers” is the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. Watch a clip here.

don't tell anyone

Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) is a film about courage, facing insurmountable obstacles and the determination to fight for justice.  In an environment where silence is often seen as necessary for survival, 24 year-old Angy Rivera steps out of the shadows to share her parallel journey of being undocumented and sexually abused, an ordeal all too common in her community. We follow Angy’s personal story from poverty in rural Colombia to the front page of The New York Times as she becomes a beacon in a movement for national change. Along her journey Angy inspires her undocumented mother Maria to speak openly about her status as well.Through verite footage and candid interviews, we witness firsthand the all too real consequences faced by over 11 million undocumented people in America today, many of whom have no options for a pathway to citizenship.

Living UndocumentedLiving Undocumented is a 17-minute documentary that explores the lives of diverse undocumented immigrant youth to illustrate the realities, challenges and opportunities they face through high school, college, and beyond. It features 6 DREAMers, who portray the realities of our nation’s immigration system and its impact on undocumented youth.  The documentary is intended for all audiences, but with the accompanying lesson plan and resource guide for students and educators, it is especially useful in secondary classes.

‘Migration Is Beautiful’ Documentary

Immigration may be one of the country’s most intractable political problems, but for many people, it’s a beautiful thing. Rapper Pharrell Williams’ “i am OTHER” YouTube channel released a three-part documentary series Monday titled “Migration Is Beautiful”, that aims to upend negative views of immigrants. Adopting the butterfly as its symbol, the film instead portrays migration as the result of corporate greed.

precious knowledge

Precious Knowledge – Precious Knowledge interweaves the stories of students in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. While 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High’s Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 100 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college.  The filmmakers spent an entire year in the classroom filming this innovative social-justice curriculum, documenting the transformative impact on students who become engaged, informed, and active in their communities.

walking merch.

Walking Merchandise- Walking Merchandise is a documentary about Chinese children trafficked to the United States for labor purposes


Check out this list of amazing books and anthologies- to keep us inspired and engaged!

  • The Secret Side of Empty
  • Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America
  • The Book of Unknown Americans
  • We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream
  • Return to Sender
  • Border Crossing
  • The Country I Call Home: Stories of Growing Up a Citizen in Every Way But One
  • Undocumented and Unafraid Tam Tran, Cinthya Felix, and the Immigrant Youth Movement


AskAngy – a blog on dating, applying to college, and being an activist – while undocumented

DreamersAdrift A creative project ABOUT undocumented youth, BY undocumented youth, and FOR undocumented youth. We are trying to document the undocumented. We’re putting our life on display through videos, art, music, spoken word, prose and poetry.

4 Lives… 4 College Grads… Representing 1 DREAM for countless others.

From CultureStrike

5 Easy Art Projects for Your Pro-Migrant Events

Executive Director Favianna Rodriguez and Events & Artist Projects Manager Julio Salgado put together this great video and how-to guide for the National Day of Dignity and Respect in 2013, but the tips they offer are great for any action at any time of year! Watch the video and download our PDF guide.

Make Your Wings

Planning to join public events, marches and rallies for immigration reform? Bring your wings! This template provides instructions to make your own pair of butterfly wings out of recycled cardboard. Basic art supplies required, including tempera or acrylic paints, a cutting blade, 6 feet of scrap fabric, and access to a printer that can print tabloid size (11 x 17 inches). Best done with friends—throw a wing-making party! Download the PDF guide. (Note: This file is 25 MB so it may take a few minutes to load.)

Making Waves: A Guide to Cultural Strategy

This guide from our friends at The Culture Group explains the concept of cultural strategy, and includes historical examples and practical steps to bring the theories and concepts to life.  We use Making Waves in our Knowledge Lab workshops and highly recommend it!  Download it from The Culture Group.

“Freedom From Fear”

Art Piece commemorating Migrant Leaders

-Favianna Rodriguez


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