LITTLE ROCK, AR - On Monday, January 16, 2012, concerned Arkansans gathered at the state's capitol to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a statewide summit on the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act.
Discussion themes addressed at the Summit an analysis of the DREAM movement in Arkansas, prospects for the introduction of state DREAM Act in 2013, and opportunities for regional and state awareness-building.
A full agenda entailed strategic planning sessions, regional action plan development for 2012 and 2013, visibility events in Little Rock tied to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and Hispanics and Latino voter engagement training.
Mireya Reith, Executive Director, Arkansas United Community Coalition and event organizer greeted the group by saying, “ “Thank you for join us for Arkansas’ first DREAM Act State Summit and choosing to celebrate your Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day holiday in demonstration of your commitment to higher education for all Arkansas students!”
The first speaker, Maria Elena de Avila, Career Coach Program Manager for Arkansas Works, Arkansas Department of Career Education gave an overall presentation on the state programs available to Arkansans.
Arkansas’ DREAM Act proponents shared the history and accomplishments of the DREAM Act and context analysis during their presentation titled, “Where Have We Been?”. Featured speakers were Rosa Velazquez, National Coordinating Committee Representative, United We DREAM, Mid-South Region and Affiliate Lead Coordinator, Arkansas Coalition for DREAM; Zessna Garcia, DREAM Act student activist; Rafael Arciga Garcia; Patty Barker, Political Director, Arkansa Public Policy Panel; Dr. G. David Gearhart, Chancellor, University of Arkansas; Mireya Reith, Executive Director, Arkansas United Community Coalition, and Reverend Stephen Copley, Arkansas Interfaith Alliance.
Before lunch, Summit attendees participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Marade Rally sponsored by
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