***Click here to watch a replay of the launch event with Skylight Books and LA Public library***
Hear the powerful personal story of Melody Klingenfuss, DACA recipient and now Coordinator for Cal State LA’s Dreamers Resource Center; an update on the work or United We Dream from Yasmin Martinez; the intersection of immigrant and labor rights from Polo Morales from the Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, and stories about the power of writing and books from Bill Morgan, a bilingual teacher from California Federation of Teachers/ Labor in the Schools.
A young girl named Flor and her father are driven to leave their country for the promise of a land called For All. When Flor comes to understand the deep impact of their immigration papers, she picks up her green pen and writes from the heart, telling the story of immigrants who have been excluded from “justice for all.” She inspires others to speak up and take action in the hope that their new country will live up to its ideals. A timely bilingual story, written in musical rhyme, beautifully illustrated, calling children to compassion and courage.
The dream of a land called “For All”
Flor dreamt of that place where if you had sorrow,
You always believe in the hope of tomorrow,
Where the endings were happy, and teeth gleamed so white,
No one was hungry and the law made things right.
The tale of a perilous journey…
The journey was tiring, dangerous and long,
But Flor and her father had hope and stayed strong.
There were deserts and rivers and caves and a train.
They drank water from puddles and washed in the rain.
The suspense of the mystery “X”…
The guard gave Dad two papers; Dad squinted his eyes.
Did Dad understand them? Were they a surprise?
Flor had glimpsed a red X, but did not tell her dad.
Had they done something wrong? In school X’s were bad.
The reality faced by immigrant workers…
“You can pick the strawberries or pounds of tomatoes,
Clean up the bathrooms and fry the potatoes.
You can’t get more money or work without pain,
You’ll get into trouble if you dare to complain.”
The reality faced by Dreamers…
“If you were born here, then you belong.
If you were not, you’ll always be wrong.
Our grandparents weren’t born here, yes that is true,
But we must draw the line, and we draw it at… you!”
The power of writing and finding your voice…
“When I was your age and was stuck, I would write
And words would reach into the dark like a light.
I want you to have this green pen, for I’m sure
That writing will help you stay strong and endure.”
The way that activists can help us live up to our ideals…
Flor went on TV and got people’s attention.
She got them to listen and also to question.
“Immigrants shouldn’t be abused and left out,
Justice must be what this country’s about.”
The burning question…
What do you think is right in this situation?
Should immigrants have a fair chance in this nation?
Should all kids have schools where they study for free?
And workers get paid so they live comfortably?