BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation—which supports creative people, effective institutions and influential networks that help to build a more just and peaceful world—announced today that Elmhurst’s Cristina Jiménez is one of its 2017 MacArthur Fellows.
Jiménez, who migrated to Elmhurst from Ecuador at age 13 with her parents and younger brother, used her challenges as an undocumented immigrant youth and struggles with poverty, abuse by police and wage theft to help create United We Dream (UWD), a nationwide network of affiliated groups, organizations and individuals focused on addressing the needs of immigrant and youth families that played a role in former President Barack Obama’s implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.
“This award celebrates the resilience and strength of my parents and of all immigrants who’ve defeated the odds to make the United States their home,” said Jiménez. “There are those in power who want to deport my family. As a proud immigrant woman of color, I ask the country to see me, see my brother, my parents, and the generations of immigrants who’ve come before. This recognition symbolizes the pathways we take to survive and thrive. I hope that it inspires Americans of all backgrounds to stand up to racism and urge our lawmakers to pass a clean Dream Act immediately.”
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