April 24, 2018: Surrounded by their campaign posters and photos at the STF Year-End Leadership Workshop, 50 current and rising STF leaders, teachers and guests celebrated their ongoing work to protect DACA recipients, school safety, and raise awareness of possible genocide against the Rohingya in Burma.
Alex Alpharaoh joined via video to thank students for their activism to protect DACA, and to emphasize DACA recipients are still at risk of losing their work permits and protection from deportation. Alex helped STF launch their DACA campaign last fall, and students cheered to greet him again. “Keep doing what you’re doing!” Alex urged.
Graduating STF leader Alexis Restum led the workshop through a spirited gun violence and school safety debate. Students countered arguments heard in the media and sometimes on campus that were critical of the purpose of the March For Our Lives advocacy and student walkouts. Workshop participants also discussed the importance of giving passion a strategy to achieve their goals. “We need to identify who we must reach with our advocacy, how we can educate them about human rights.” STFers used this discussion to share their experiences pre-registering hundreds of voters at their schools and started to plan how to get them to the polls in November.
At the end of the evening, participants applauded the graduating seniors and reminded them to stay involved in human rights advocacy when they get to college.