ISSUES

National Convening Unites Over 350 Campus Leaders, Administrators, Faculty, Students, Advocates, and Policy Experts in Support of Undocumented Students


For Immediate Release: April 4, 2024
Contact: Jason Koh at Jason@presidentsalliance.org

National Convening Unites Over 350 Campus Leaders, Administrators, Faculty, Students, Advocates, and Policy Experts in Support of Undocumented Students

Houston, TX – This past weekend, from March 28th to 30th, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, TheDream.US, and Immigrants Rising co-hosted the second-ever SUCCESS convening with Rice University in Houston. Over 350 educators, higher education leaders, students, legal and policy experts, and organizational advocates from nearly 150 institutions and organizations across 29 U.S. states participated. Together, participants worked to share best practices and ideas to promote educational access, facilitate career preparation, and foster professional growth for undocumented and other immigrant students.

“We were honored to host the SUCCESS Convening 2024 at Rice University and in our home city of Houston, the most diverse city in the country,” said Reginald DesRoches, President of Rice University. “We recognize the significance of coming together and finding solutions to the challenges facing undocumented and other immigrant students.”

Bringing together the various stakeholders involved in addressing the academic and career needs of undocumented students does not often happen, and the SUCCESS Convening provided this vital forum. The decision to host the convening in Texas bore political and social significance, given the state’s status as home to the second largest undocumented population in the country. Texas also led the way in adopting tuition equity policies as early as 2001, inspiring 23 other states and the District of Columbia to follow suit.

William Perez, Professor at the School of Education, Loyola Marymount University said: “As a university professor deeply invested in the academic and professional growth of our students, the convening provided a profound reminder of our responsibility to adapt and innovate in the face of changing societal needs. It’s clear that our role extends beyond imparting knowledge; it’s about being catalysts for change, fostering an environment where every student has the opportunity to thrive.”

The first SUCCESS Convening was invitation-only, while this year’s open event attracted more faculty and student voices to participate. Nearly 100 students and a plethora of faculty were involved in planning, supporting, and participating in the weekend’s events.

“As part of the Undocumented Immigrant Alliance at my university, attending the SUCCESS convening gave me a platform where undocumented voices can be amplified. It was also a rare chance to connect with fellow students, higher education leaders, and policy experts from across the country. This gathering not only fosters collaboration among colleges, universities, and advocacy organizations but also celebrates our collective efforts in advocating for immigrant students nationwide,” said Grettel, an undocumented student and TheDream.US Scholar.

The convening also honored higher education institutions, college presidents and chancellors, and student leaders at the SUCCESS Awards Ceremony to recognize their work in supporting undocumented students’ success on their campuses and beyond. View the video here.

The event received acclaim not only for sharing ideas and best practices but also for the sheer recognition of the undocumented student community and those leaders and institutions working to support and advance their education and career success. As Astou Thiane, Director of Policy and Advocacy for ImmSchools, shared in her keynote address, “Young people deserve better than luck… As practitioners and advocates, you play a critical role in influencing what a young person imagines is possible in their life.”

Next year’s Convening will be held in Chicago.

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About the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to support undocumented, international and refugee students and advance forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal level, in our states, and across our college campuses. The Alliance is composed of 550+ college and university presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 42 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

About TheDream.US

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 10,000 college scholarships to Dreamers attending over 80 partner colleges in 21 states and Washington, DC. We believe everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have equitable access to a college education, a meaningful career, and opportunities to contribute to the communities they call home. For more information on TheDream.US, visit www.thedream.us 

About Immigrants Rising

Since 2006, Immigrants Rising has transformed undocumented individuals and fueled broader changes around the country. With Immigrant Rising’s resources and support, undocumented people are able to get an education, pursue careers, and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Highly respected within the field, Immigrants Rising has a proven track record of supporting the success and mobility of undocumented students through collaborative efforts with students, educators, and institutions. Immigrants Rising is a women-led, BIPOC-led, and immigrant-led 501c3 organization. For more information, visit www.immigrantsrising.org.