History of Napa Valley Dream Team
In 2010, youth from 18 to 32 years old, untied their strength, hope, and will to advocate for the rights of undocumented students. That being so, we saw the DREAM Act as the first vehicle to achieve educational access and equality. In November, we organized “the week of dreams” with actions from dream-in’s to phone banking to Congress with the message that after almost ten years it was more the fair that the DREAM Act become law. We initiated the work for the DREAM Act, the group formed a coalition between Napa Valley College clubs for which the group took on the name “Napa Valley Dream Act Coalition” but in continuing our efforts through a collaborative model, we opted to change the name to Napa Valley DREAM Team.
Although our dream that a law would allow undocumented youth to have the opportunity to obtain a higher education through which they’d obtain their permanent residency is unmet, we have not given up. On the contrary.
We have the privilege, although it should very well be a recognized undeniable right, to pay in-state tuition as Californians, many youth and educational institutions do not know it (or perhaps prefer to ignore it). They don’t know that since 2001, when the DREAM Act first failed, California passed the state law AB 540. Motivated not to give up and with the support in donations from individuals and businesses, we made the first Dreamers Conference in 2011. Youth arrived to the conference from at most four hours north of Napa, which we never imagined. The Redding community in Shasta County, about three hours north of Napa, attends the conference each year with new and returning people.
We continue our focus still on the Federal DREAM Act but worked with the same strength for the California Dream Act; the California Dream Act was the first success that are group experienced. We joined Latinos Latinos Unidos del Valle de Napa y Solano to push for a just immigration reform that is inclusive of the whole immigrant community.
We are part of the Napa Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Collaborative composed of Legal Aid of Napa, Puertas Abiertas and the Calistoga Family Resource Center. We have in toe the fourth conference, this collection of stories and the work to reach our second collective success: a just immigration reform.
NVDT Mission: As students and community members of the Napa Valley DREAM Team, we advocate or the rights of undocumented youth within the Napa Valley. We work together to change policies in order to support [im]migrant families and continue to self-empower ourselves in an effort to become a resource to those who need it.
NVDT Vision: We, the Napa Valley Dream Team, support the DREAM Act, which will positively aid undocumented youth into achieving a higher education that will better equip their careers in the future, ultimately benefiting the community at large. We envision the Napa Valley as a community that will provide support, empowerment and resources to all students regardless of culture, color, gender, sexual orientation, and [im]migration status.”