The Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success held its first Undoc Summit on Saturday in San Luis Obispo.
“I think for the immigrant and undocumented community members it’s really a statement that we are here, we are proud to be here. This is our community as much as everybody else’s," said Abraham Melendrez, program manager for SLO Undocu Support.
“Immigrant communities are sometimes overlooked, sometimes they’re not represented in a lot of spaces especially here in SLO County," said Oscar Velasco, steering committee member for CCUSS.
After a year of planning, CCCUSS, was able to hold its first in-person event at Laguna Middle School.
“We want to empower our undocumented community and let them know there are resources here for them," said Jannet Rios, steering member of CCCUSS.
Over 130 people gathered at the summit to receive interpretation, medical, educational, and financial resources and support.
“Every kid is important to us to bringing together agencies supporting our students and our families is key to the success of our whole community," said John Calandro, principal of Laguna Middle School.
One of the biggest obstacles organizers say they see within this community is the lack of information access due to a language barrier.
“Raising the needs of our Mixteco community. There is a growing population, especially in north county, a lot of them can’t find the right information or the right translation services," said Velasco.
CCCUSS says holding events like this one allows for undocumented individuals to feel supported, but also for the community to come together as one to show what it means to dream without borders.
“Dreams without borders really just means that we want to dream beyond what we are limited to regardless of documentation status," said Velasco.
“It’s important to be able to dream of the possibilities. I think it’s hard to do that when you are constantly worried about your status," said Rios.
Organizers of the event say this was made possible through the help of multiple organizations and partnerships. They hope to continue to hold events like this in the future.
For more information on CCUSS visit this website.