STATEMENT: We Stand with Dreamers

Statement: We Stand with Dreamers

September 12th, 2017

Media Contact:

Elani Gonzalez-Oritz, Communications Director |


In Phoenix, Arizona, just hours after the Trump Administration announced its decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, hundreds of students walked out of classes at South Mountain High School. Marching a mile to the police station, expressing their outrage at the decision and their solidarity with all the students who will be hurt . Similar student-led protests happened in Denver, DC, and several other cities around the country.

The DACA program was established by President Obama in 2012. It targeted for young people (or “Dreamers,” as they are called) who were brought to this country by parents or other family members when they were children or even Infants. The act is in place for those who entered the US before age 16 and have lived there since June 15, 2007. While the act does not offer a path to citizenship, DACA protected Dreamers from possible deportation and allows Dreamers access to basic human needs such as driver licenses, opening bank accounts, and importantly safety in public schools and workplaces. There are over 800,000 Dreamers in the United States. The vast majority attend school or work – or both and pay taxes without being offered any federal financial aid through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), and are limited to state or college financial aid. For some this is the only country that they remember living in.

As one public high school teacher in Philadelphia said, “these are children who did not make the decision to enter the U.S. illegally. They broke no law and they’ve grown up as American as you and I.” Thousands of those Dreamers who are affected by the Trump Administration’s outrageous decision are still teenagers attending public high schools all across the city. Under DACA, they were able to pursue their education freely, without the looming threat of deportation. Many cities and states even provided financial aid to make that education possible.

Once again, these students must live under the shadow of uncertainty and fear. Once again, they and their families face the possibility of ICE raids, being torn from their families and communities, and sent off to a country which, for them, would essentially be a foreign unknown place.This places fear into the students, which can drastically affect their performance in school. Will they be torn from their social circle of friends? Will the work they have put in to get this far be for nothing? Will their future be torn away from them?

Everyone must join these students in their protests, UrbEd is no exception. We will continue to work to aid the undocumented member of the education community by giving them access to the most resources possible. We will continue to reach out to other organizations and give support and do whatever we can in our power to restore DACA. UrbEd will draw on connections that our team have to organizations working directly on issues facing Dreamers. We strive to make sure all members of our community are safe and secure and is receiving a quality and efficient urban education. By denying them their education and their future, we are denying our society of much talent. We urge Congress to act to protect Dreamers from the hatred of the President of the United States.  We must fight to restore DACA at all costs.  

STATEMENT: Charlottesville, Race in America, and UrbEd's work

Picture was taken by UrbEd team member Luke at the memorial for Heather Heyer who was killed by a car driven into her by a white supremacist. 

Picture was taken by UrbEd team member Luke at the memorial for Heather Heyer who was killed by a car driven into her by a white supremacist. 

Luke Risher, Deputy Executive Director |

We at UrbEd are saddened and disgusted (but not surprised) at the tragic recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is a yet another cog in the cycle of racism and hates that this country was built on, shaped by, and still suffers from. A team member of UrbEd, Luke Risher, was able to travel down to the Charlottesville community and stand in solidarity with the community during their time of strife.

UrbEd sees the lack condemnation from the government and leaders specifically Donald Trump. Statements like the "both side" statement shows where the administration's values lie and how this country still accepts open white supremacy.

At UrbEd we fight for Urban Education and we see how the underlying and explicate issues of racism have formed and currently impact education. We are based in the City of Philadelphia, located in Pennsylvania - a state that both hosts an active Ku Klux Klan chapter and voted for Donald Trump in the election. In our schools in Philadelphia we see examples of racism, for example, the Swastikas were drawn in Little Flower High School, or spray painted downtown in areas where multiple schools are located. Also, we see how the underlying racism in our school system leads to issues like underfunding, lack of control, lack of opportunities, negative and degrading school environments, for urban primarily non-white students.

We continue to fight and stand in solidarity against the overt racism we see, we also will not lose sight of the ingrained racism in the system in our country like the education system and the economic structure. As student advocate fighting for urban students (primarily not white), we will always fight the systems that create inequality and injustice in our communities.