Illegal To Be Me – Introducing Siena

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Siena heard one message loud and clear. Mexicans are criminals, drug addicts, and rapists. A wall would be built to keep America safe. But, the message 11-year-old Siena received, was that as a Mexican American, she was not safe. As a result, Siena is working toward awareness and social change. She is a member of the Sunrise Movement. The organization seeks to remove the oppressive and unsustainable systems to create a just future. 

The Sunrise Movement is an army of young people that organize and fight for justice for all. What does that look like? They seek to do the following:

  • End the oppression of all people: women, the poor, people of color, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Support local candidates that will help win justice for all.
  • Create awareness related to systems that support oppression; the government and our policing system are two examples.
  • Focus on creating good jobs that pay a living wage, provide health benefits, and stop climate change.
  • Campaign for government grants or funding for college education.
  • Fight for fair housing and public housing to resolve housing inequities.

Siena feels most strongly about racism and defunding the police. Siena explained that people are either actively racist, passively racist, or actively anti-racist. She feels we must stand up to any person or organization that espouses racist principles and practices. How? Through educating people through communication and dismantling the systems that do not work.

Siena feels the current policing system is antequated and based on colonialism and slavery. The system was meant to protect capital, not people. She expresses her concern that not all people experience the police in the same way. While some people feel safe with police interactions, there are large numbers of people that do not. Siena supports changes that would shift revenues from policing to mental health and other emergency services that a police officer is not required. For example, domestic disputes could be resolved by a social worker. 

Siena feels strongly that we must work together to make the world just. 

For more information on the Sunrise Movement go to:

A Time To Heal is a project that promotes peaceful and constructive conversations related to complex topics. Topics are related to the events of 2020. They include but are not limited to Covid-19, Essential Workers, Race, Racism, the LGBTQIA community about the recent supreme court ruling, and more.

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