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August 2, 2013
Let's Make The Immigrant Voice A Valid Voice

In late 2013, Atlas’ youth will be launching Undocu-View: a literary magazine by and for immigrant youth. The young members of Atlas: DIY are collaborating on this project together to create a magazine devoted to the issues of immigrant youth.

The Challenge

With all the media hype around immigration reform the past few months, we’ve noticed a significant trend: there are a lot of people talking about immigration who have no idea what they’re talking about (we’re looking at you Roy Beck of “Numbers” USA).

As with most topics, its impossible for someone who has not gone through the immigration process and been impacted by issues immigrants face to give you an accurate account of the matter. How can someone who is sheltered from the fear and abuse that immigrants face on a day-to-day basis describe the mixed feelings the immigrant community had when the Senate passed the immigration reform bill in June?

Truth is, they can’t. While we respect the many voices advocating for fair immigration reform, we understand that the clearest voice will come from the ones living immigration.

The Solution

Last Tuesday, a piece was submitted to the Daily Kos (a large progressive community blog that covers a multitude of public domain topics) titled “My Brother Could Not Wait.” The piece, which described the life of an undocumented young artist through the eyes of his loving brother, literally had me trembling in my seat in a local Brooklyn coffee shop – unable to move for the agony that swept through me. Its power came from the fact that it written by the now-deceased boy’s brother; no one else could have told that story so compellingly.

Similarly, there are 11 million different stories that no one can tell better than those who living them. Thus, the Undocu-View project emerged: a literary magazine written by immigrant youth on the topics that affect immigrants nationwide. And who better to tell that story?

What is Undocu-View?

Atlas is built on the very firm foundations of self-empowerment. That is why we created an internal (though separate) program in 2012 called C.A.S.A. (Community Arts, Social Action), in which core members sought to unite their talents and passion to create a project that would support their different artistic mediums such as writing, photography, painting, etc,. They would share ideas, facilitate strategic messaging workshops and develop new skills. Through this initiative, Undocu-View was born.

Undocu-View is a literary magazine created entirely by immigrant youth, documented or undocumented. We need your support to create a literary magazine, a capsule through which to share our worldview (Undocu-View) and send across the country; to make our visions be seen, our voices be heard, and to let others know they are not alone.

How you can help

As you can imagine, it is very difficult to publish a literary magazine without supplies. On August 1st, 2013, Atlas launched a Kick Starter campaign to fund the Undocu-View project. You can help be a part of this project, even if you are not able to physically come and in and participate: you can help fund the project by donating or (if you are unable to donate) by sharing the page with your friends and encouraging them to donate or participate.

Let’s make the immigrant voice a valid voice.


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