Wednesday, April 10th, tens of thousands of immigrants and supporters will unite on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol at 3:00p.m. in support of common sense immigration reform now that includes citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people living in this country. The Rally for Citizenship will showcase multi-sector support for immigration reform and elevate the personal stories of those impacted by the crisis – both immigrants themselves and their family members, co-congregants and neighbors. Listed in their order of appearance:
Rally Kick-Off – Co-MCs Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action, and Jaime Contreras, Vice-President of SEIU 32BJ, will describe the political moment that inspired the rally.
Local Media Heroes – Deejays and media personalities who have long supported immigration reform will rev up the crowd.
La Santa Cecilia – Indy-Latin fusion band La Santa Cecilia will perform their new release El Hielo (ICE) – a song with heartbreaking lyrics that convey the impact of our broken immigration system.
Interfaith Service – Religious leaders will lead rally-goers in prayer, each according to his tradition, but unified in the theme of “love thy neighbor” and how it relates to a prophetic call for compassionate immigration reform.
Elizabeth Alexander – Ms. Alexander was the inaugural poet at the 2009 presidential inauguration and she is the chair of Yale’s African American Studies Department. She will read an interpretation of her inaugural poem in English and Spanish.
Local Politicians – D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Arlington Board of Supervisors Chair Walter Tejada, and Maryland Senator Victor Ramirez will welcome attendees to Washington, D.C.; they will be joined on stage by other local officials including D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells and Montgomery County Councilman Hans Riemer.
Families of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement – Kathy Tabares, a young undocumented activist from New York, will share her story while surrounded by the executive directors of the largest grassroots immigrant rights state organizations in the country.
Members of Congress – Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-04-IL) will speak on behalf of other heroic Members of Congress.
Labor – Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU, Bob King, President of UAW, and Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the NEA, will share the stage with other union presidents from the Laborers International, the American Federation of Teachers, Communication Workers of America and others.
Andy Andy– Bachata sensation Andy Andy will perform two of his most popular numbers.
Asian-American Pacific Islander Organizations – Representatives from the nation’s leading Asian-American Pacific Islander Organizations will describe the importance of family unity as a core component of immigration reform.
Keynote – Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, will give a speech highlighting the intersection of civil rights and immigrant rights while surrounded by leadership from local branches of the NAACP.
America Coming Together – From environmental to youth groups, many of the most influential political organizations in the U.S. recognize that the immigration crisis impacts us all. Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will speak on behalf of the progressive movement and will be joined on stage by leaders of the nation’s most impactful progressive organizations.
Alvaro Torres – Famous romantic crooner Alvaro Torres will sing his most popular song.
Children and Families – Wendy Cervantes, Vice President of Immigration and Child Rights Policy for First Focus and Maryland school teacher Eric Luedkte will talk about the impact family separation has on children. Maryland youth advocate Macky Fofana will tell his personal story of living with the fear that his parents will be deported.
Local Families – Elia Lizzet de la Cruz Valencia fought for six years to be reunited with her three children. Elia will share her story and sing a song she wrote while being held in an Arizona detention center. Ricardo Campos will close the rally with the uplifting story of how local families created the rally.
Immigrant Rights Activist and Grammy-award winning music star Olga Tañon – Human rights defender, peace activist and multi-Grammy-winning artist Olga Tañon is an international music star considered to have one of the most powerful voices in Latin music. She has focused her powerful influence in support of immigration reform. Ms. Tañon has built an extraordinary cadre of artists to support the Campaign for Citizenship. She will describe this work and sing some of her most popular numbers.
Dolores Huerta – Ms. Huerta is a labor and civil rights activist who together with César Chávez co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. Broadly recognized for her advocacy for workers’, immigrants’ and women’s rights, Ms. Huerta is a beloved hero in the long struggle for respect for immigrant communities. Ms. Huerta will join Ms. Tañon on stage to issue a powerful call to action.
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