Josefina’s Letter – Words of Welcome

Words of Welcome

August 14, 2019

Dear Safe Passages Family.

It’s that time of year again – back to school! I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a warm welcome as summer comes to a close, school is back in session, and all of our programs here at Safe Passages are once again in full swing.

This has been a difficult year due to the draining political climate, devastating natural disasters, vicious attacks on our communities, and the federal administration’s recent decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. For these reasons, I wish to take this opportunity to remind you that Safe Passages is a buffer for our children and families. We are more committed now than ever to achieve equality and social justice for every member of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable. We are here to help. And, at this critical moment in our nation’s history, I invite you to join us – because we are stronger together. And this nation, our nation, is stronger because of us.

We must push through the noise and maintain our focus on the children and families we serve. We will commit all of our brilliance, tenacity, courage, skill, and resources to breathe life back into our democracy. We owe it to ourselves, our parents, our children – and all of the generations yet to come – to continue our fight against institutional, interpersonal, and internal oppression with concrete strategies that affect real and lasting change.  This is our strategy to disrupt poverty in our community.

So, at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, I invite you all to become more involved in our work here at Safe Passages, and more involved in the march towards progress – the march towards a brighter Oakland, and a brighter and more just America.

In Service,
Josefina Alvarado Mena, Esq.
CEO
Safe Passages

Josefina’s Letter- We Hold our Children and Families in our Hearts

We Hold our Children and Families in our Hearts

June 19, 2019

Dear Friends.

Safe Passages is all about children and families. For over twenty years we have dedicated our passion and resources to advocating for disenfranchised children, families, and communities. Disenfranchisement is not passive or without pain. Disenfranchisement is violent, volatile, and inflicts pain and suffering on those victimized by injustice. Our hearts are breaking with the ongoing onslaught on our children and families. While we are struggling to accept the reality of the internment of our children and families, we must move forward with our eyes wide open.

Yesterday, our highest court affirmed a federal travel ban that unconstitutionally targets Muslims and people of color. The same majority opinion took the opportunity to provide a long-overdue correction of the Japanese Internment decision stemming from a WWII Executive Order in Korematsu v. The US from 1944. Chief Justice Roberts writing for the majority wrote, “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and—to be clear—‘has no place in law under the Constitution.’”

We are living in a time of “doublespeak,” and we cannot be distracted or redirected from the fact that once again a group of human beings are being unconstitutionally targeted based on national origin and religion.

As we hold the TWO THOUSAND BABIES AND CHILDREN separated from their families at the U.S./Mexico boarder in our minds and hearts we must reaffirm for our nation the following:

– Every child and family is born with inalienable human rights.

– Every child and family has the right to be treated with dignity and humanity.

– Our children and families are our country’s greatest resources.

– It is inhumane, cruel and unusual punishment, and amoral to separate babies and children from their families and house them in cages.

– We are in the midst of immigrant and humanitarian crises. And we must respond accordingly.

– We are Americans and we are better than this. We should be leaders in protecting the human rights of all people.

– We must demand that our representatives govern in a manner that is consistent with our constitution and respects the human rights of all people.

At times, this work is painful because we actively challenge the injustices faced by the communities we represent and serve. This is one of those times. We must assemble all our hope and skill to challenge the dehumanization of immigrants, refugees, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, women, and children. At Safe Passages we are committed to protecting the communities we serve and to challenge the active dismantling of our families. Please stand with us as we embark upon our 23rd year of service to our communities. We can help bind our nation to the principles of democracy and justice.

 

 

In Heartbreak and in Hope,

Josefina Alvarado-Mena, J.D.
Chief Executive Officer, Safe Passages

Josefina’s Letter- Hats Off to Our Moms and Graduates

Hats Off to Our Moms and Graduates

June 3, 2019

Dear Friends.

This month we dedicate our newsletter to our high school graduates and all the mothers who have supported the development of our babies through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.

Safe Passages supports a continuum of programs and services beginning with Early Childhood and continuing through college and career. This month we celebrate all of the youth graduating from high school from our family of programs. We understand that this is no small accomplishment given our context of generational poverty, historical oppression, and institutionalized inequities that challenge youth of color every day of their lives. Despite the context, our graduates have demonstrated the extraordinary resiliency to navigate through a complex and sometimes unforgiving education system with the tenacity needed to beat the odds.

We hope that the Class of 2019 will move forward with these truths:

  • The brilliance they possess has the power to light their path forward,
  • The assets they possess will see them through to the outcomes they desire.
  • Their strength is greater than their struggle.
  • Their agency and self-efficacy can change the world.
  • Their truth is powerful enough to change hearts and minds.
  • Our communities need them more than they know.
  • We believe in them and will leverage all our assets to further their dreams.

It is with great pride that all of us at Safe Passages commend the brilliance and diligence of the Class of 2019. We expect nothing but greatness from each and every one of you!

Finally, we recognize the tenacity and diehard commitment of all the mothers who support their children and young adults along their trajectory to adulthood. As a mother of three, including a graduating senior Mikaela, I know parenthood is as unrelenting as it is rewarding. Happy Mothers’ Day! Thank you for shaping our next generation of leaders.

 

In Service,
Josefina Alvarado Mena, Esq.
CEO
Safe Passages

May 2019 Newsletter

Hats Off to Our Moms and Graduates

This month we dedicate our newsletter to our high school graduates and all the mothers who have supported the development of our babies through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.

Safe Passages supports a continuum of programs and services beginning with Early Childhood and continuing through college and career. This month we celebrate all of the youth graduating from high school from our family of programs. We understand that this is no small accomplishment given our context of generational poverty, historical oppression, and institutionalized inequities that challenge youth of color every day of their lives. Despite the context, our graduates have demonstrated the extraordinary resiliency to navigate through a complex and sometimes unforgiving education system with the tenacity needed to beat the odds.

Read the rest of this article and the entire newsletter.