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University of Illinois organizations educate peers on immigrant communities

Students gather at the University YMCA to learn more about immigrant communities in Urbana-Champaign.

When immigrants arrive in Urbana-Champaign, local organizations ensure those without resources receive beds, baby clothes and diapers.

The Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc. and I-CAUSE, a student organization that supports DACA students, hosted an event on November 2nd to educate peers about the immigrant community outside of campus.

Visitors at the event were able to write letters to immigrant families, listen to keynote speakers and learn more about local services for the surrounding immigrant community.

Maritza Dominguez is from I-CAUSE and helped plan the event. She wanted guests to be proud of their roots.

“I hope what people get out of this event is just to feel proud to come from like an immigrant background, and just to celebrate the community as a whole and just, you know, be more aware of like the struggles but also like the victories that come with like being an immigrant.”

Austin Cyphersmith attended the event as the secretary of Immigrant Services of Champaign Urbana. He highlighted the organization’s warehouse at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District off Canyon Road.

“It’s a big space. So we can take like beds, or food or clothing, we have like a store, a toddler source of like diapers, that kind of thing, baby clothes, anything people want to donate.”

Cyphersmith says it can be easy for students to forget about the larger community. He says this event helps students connect beyond Campustown.

Picture of Luis Velazquez-Perez

Luis Velazquez-Perez

Luis Velazquez- Perez recently earned a B.S. in Journalism with a minor in Latina/Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is now pursuing his Master's in Journalism. Aside as an intern at Illinois Newsroom, Velazquez-Perez has written for The Daily Illini, Cicero Independiente and C-U CitizenAccess. He aspires to be a bilingual public radio journalist

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