Profile Archives - Define American

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Standing up for Civil and Labor Rights in New Orleans

By Fernando Lopez, NOWCRJ Fernando Lopez is a community organizer for the Congress of Day Laborers at the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice — the group representing #1of11Million campaign participant, Yestel Velazquez. Yestel Velazquez is a New Orleans reconstruction worker. He came to New Orleans shortly after Hurricane …

To Define is to Limit

I absolutely love to read and anyone who is familiar with Oscar Wilde I’m sure recognizes the quote I have chosen for my title; “To define is to limit.” From the moment I read this in The Picture of Dorian Gray I thought to myself, this is me, this is how I see the …

White and Undocumented -- why I’m not stopped by border patrol

Midnight. 80 degrees. Palm trees, illuminated by the airport lights, lining the street. My dream was now a reality. Germany to Miami. I did it. I moved to America! When I was 12, my family vacationed in upstate New York. From then on, I knew I wanted to live in America. When …

Will America live up to its promise?

Last week would have been the 71st birthday of my mother who was tragically killed abroad fifteen years ago. Because of my undocumented status, I still have not been able to visit her grave site. This experience is all to common in the undocumented community. This is one of the many reasons why, despite …

What will it finally take to be recognized as Americans?

I was in my college dorm in Tennessee. My roommate woke me up and told me about a disaster at the World Trade Center. I immediately called my parents in Brooklyn, wanting to know if they were okay. My mom replied that she was fine, but it was the people in Manhattan that she …

Should all Americans have the right to an education?

I was raised in a family with strong beliefs in our faith. It is because of my faith that I continue to strive for a better future and do good to others. This is why I’m so passionate for my advocacy in education, regardless of gender, race and immigration status. When I lived …

What are you most proud of?

My sons Issac and Felipe are my pride and joy. My wife and I go to church with them every Sunday and we spend our free time at the movies or enjoying …