Give Us a Seat at the Table

Systemic racism has, throughout my whole life, prevented me from being in spaces like this today, from going to college, from feeling like I belong, and from finding people like me who want a revolution! What do we want? We want dignity; we want respect; we want permanent solutions, and we want to do it now.  I feel so much love and so much compassion for everyone who has been on this journey with me. I just want to encourage people to use their access, their connections, and their webs of community to open up to people like me. The people I grew up with are not in these spaces, and I just want to acknowledge that we can make sure they are getting their needs met. Hope is a weird concept, but I always feel it when I am with women, people of color, other undocumented people, and classmates from Smith. Give us a seat at the table, and we will take it from there.   Julieta Mendoza, Smith College student, DACA, volunteer with the Pioneer Valley Workers Center.