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CIRCLE Project Highlights the Importance of Creating Safe Spaces for Undocumented Immigrant Youth

by Mariella Saavedra on 07/18/2012 at 5:51pm

Recently, I wrote about the psychological effects of being undocumented. Now, I wanted to know what other DREAMers were doing to create spaces where undocumented and undocuqueer folk could talk about their experiences.

I was led to Imelda Plascencia, who, with the help of the DREAM Resource Center, created a counseling group for DREAMers called the Collective of Immigrant Resilience through Community Led Empowerment (CIRCLE) Project. The message of the group, she says, is “to share your experience with others. It is important to get out of isolation, especially since some of us can be introverted. Sometimes we are the only person in our family who is undocumented. That is why we have to talk to each other. The message is to talk– create conversation, courageous conversation.”

Plascencia discusses her bouts with depression and how creating the CIRCLE Project was her active way of coping with it. She also highlights the importance of creating safe spaces for undocuqueers so that their unique experiences, parallel to those of undocumented youth, are heard and understood.

Read more here about it in my Spanish-language piece.

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