People across the country have called for a fair and humane immigration reform. Today, the Campaign’s walk began at the Golden Gate Bridge to bring these conversations to various communities on its eight-month journey to Washington, D.C. CAD will work directly with more than 200 communities as it spans nearly 3,000 miles.
Aldana is a queer undocumented immigrant rights activist who works as a community organizer/health advocate for Latino LGBTQ youth, HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and treatment with social justice, advocacy and empowerment to immigrant communities impacted by health disparities in Southern California.
“Inspired by my partner (and CAD walker) Nicholas Gonzalez, I am joining this walk to raise awareness and expose the diversity that exists in immigrant communities,” Aldana said. “Being a DREAMer who didn’t have the opportunity to access higher education, I sought alternatives through community work, educating other undocumented youth and families about their rights and access to services. We seek to give them a stronger voice and to take deliberate action in moving toward a solution to the immigration system, while putting a face to the many victims of human rights violations.”
He has participated in local, state, and national conferences and rallies addressing LGBTQ issues in school districts (Queer Youth Advocacy Day 2008), marriage equality (Prop 8 campaign), immigrant rights (May Day March 2010 Queer Youth contingent), and representing HIV services for undocumented immigrants at The United States Conference on AIDS in 2011.
“Working with the LGBTQ community has shown me the importance of raising awareness within the communities of color and other faith groups as a whole that LGBTQ rights must also include immigrant rights, marriage equality, and health reform,” Aldana said. “I’m hoping to address the stigmas in our LGBTQ community face and to find unity and acceptance to bring about a stronger social justice network.”
Aldana’s liberation by “coming out of the shadows” was followed by an action in San Bernardino, where he was arrested for protesting against “secure communities/287g” outside of city hall to empower immigrant communities who live in gear because of such laws. He will continue to address human rights violations and justice with the intersections of is work on HIV prevention, LGBTQ issues, education, and immigration by joining CAD.
Alanda has served on the Media/Communications Committee of the Campaign and developed many posters and fliers for CAD while reaching out to people in the San Francisco area.