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Aliento Grad eCommencement with Reyna Montoya

Date(s): Friday, May 30, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Celebration, Ceremony
Genre and Form(s): Community, Latinx
Cost: Free

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Grad eCommencement: Class of 2020 Celebration Ceremony

Start: Saturday, May 30, 2020 4:00 PM

Arizona (GMT-07:00)

End: Saturday, May 30, 2020 6:00 PM

Arizona (GMT-07:00)

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    Sponsored by: Aliento

    About this Event

    Imagine being a first generation student and feeling a deep sense of pride as graduation is coming to celebrate this milestone with friends, family, teachers, and mentors. Many schools had to make the tough decision of cancelling or postponing graduations and some are doing virtual engagements. As we kept hearing from our students about the longing of graduating we wanted to take a moment to celebrate their accomplishments in community, because there is always hope, even during a pandemic. We at Aliento believe it is important for students to have a space to celebrate their accomplishments and milestones with their loved ones and our community. We deeply understand that it takes a village and the Class of 2020 deserves to be celebrated!

    Join us to celebrate the hard work, dedication and accomplishments of the Class of 2020 as we commemorate such a special time in a students’ academic journey at our virtual bilingual commencement ceremony!

    This event is intended to celebrate high school graduates, community college graduates and university graduates. We want to highlight the diversity of stories of the class of 2020, especially children of immigrants, DACAmented students, undocumented students, students who come from mixed status families, first generation students, and the larger Aliento student community who have shown commitment to collective healing + transformative action!

    Please note: the deadline to register for this events is May 22, 2020, 11:59 pm PST

    About the Author

    Photograph of Reyna Montoya in a front of a prickly pear cactus

    Reyna was born in Tijuana, Mexico and migrated to Arizona in 2003 fleeing violence. She is an undocumented/DACAmented social entrepreneur, community organizer, educator, and dancer. She is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow, which enable her to start Aliento. She is also a founding member of the first Teach For America DACA Advisory Board. Reyna holds bachelor degrees in Political Science and Transborder Studies and a Dance minor from Arizona State University; she also holds a M.Ed in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. She recently completed an executive education program from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has engaged in local, statewide and national platforms to advance justice for immigrant communities. In 2013, she was the lead organizer, who prevented an immigration bus of undocumented immigrants from deportation in Phoenix, AZ for the first time in the nation’s history. In the same year, with the help of the community, she stopped her father’s deportation. She was also recognized as 2017 #NBCLatino20 and the Muhammad Ali Center as the 2018 Humanitarian Recipient for Spirituality. She hopes to share her talents and skills with the community to co-create healing spaces, political change, and leadership development of our immigrant youth and migrant families.

    A stylized puff of air in blue on a pink background with the word "Aliento" underneath in white

    We are a community organization that is DACA, undocumented, and youth-led. We are directly impacted people and allies who are invested in the well being, emotional healing, and leadership development of those impacted by the inequalities of lacking an immigration status.

    We envision youth and children having access to transformative experiences where they are co-create spaces of healing and are trained to become agents of change in their communities. Our hope at Aliento is to reshape the image of who immigrants are and shine a light on the unheard voices of our society.

    We imagine a world where healing and reconciliation is the norm, a world where everyone’s humanity is at the core and is the driving force, where we seek collective problem-solving when harm is done.

    At Aliento, we create community healing through art that leads to collective people power.  We create art that reflects the humanity of undocumented immigrants who have been criminalized by the harsh and unjust U.S. detention and deportation system.

    Through community building spaces, leadership development, and art creation, we seek to shift the U.S. society away from the belief that punitive practices lead to justice and safety for our society.  

    Through art we heal and build power to reimagine a community without a punitive system, where we create a healing and learning space instead of punishment and blame.