rise up conference

RISE UP Conference: Lifting Up Struggles, Confronting Injustice

Alejandra Gutierrez
Youth Organizer Coordinator, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin 
Dec 01, 2014

I hold the spirit of my community and friends of Stockton in my heart as I experience the privilege of attending Fusion's Rise Up conference. Our faces and colors are lacking but the content of what is being said is the story of our struggles. "There are more black males incarcerated today than there were slaves during slavery." Senator Cory Booker started the day the right way. I believe we cannot talk about global social injustices and movements before confronting and talking about the greatest injustice in our country... mass incarceration. I'm glad the criminal in-justice system was challenged by the first speaker. 

The first panel consisted of activists from Mexico, Sierra Leone, Taiwan and Venezuela. They shared their experiences in social revolutions in their home countries. Gisela Perez de Acha inspired me as she spoke of the realities of resistance in Mexico and staying true to one's identity. 

Sofia Campos... undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic. I felt connected to her as she spoke with fire and passion and truly represented our gente's struggle. I believe immigrant families and incarcerated families must stand in solidarity to end the separation of families, the intimidation by law enforcement and social exclusion. 

I appreciate these speakers for speaking their truth to a group that needs to hear it in order for them to be effective. 

Thank you to The California Endowment for this opportunity, I am truly grateful! 


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