Feb 25, 2019
A new organization is amplifying the voices of those who are often invisible in the immigration narrative, undocumented Black people. The UndocuBlack Network started when a group of currently and formerly undocumented Black people came together after Freddy Gray, a Baltimore resident, died from injuries sustained while in police custody. A group of young people organized the Undocumented and Black convening in Florida, sparking national interest and participation. In just 3 years, the UndocuBlack Network has blossomed into a national nonprofit whose advocacy is building community, influence and power.
As Gabrielle Jackson, co-founder and Mental Wellness Director, explains on Power Station, the challenges of the undocumented from the Caribbean, United Kingdom, Latin America and the African Continent are complex. They are deported at significantly higher rates than other populations and their stories are often underreported. Those in line for citizenship drop out of the process for many reasons and asylum seekers face deportation to countries where their safety is at risk. LGTBQ immigrants grapple with bias and isolation.
A childhood arrival from Trinidad and Tobago, Gabrielle, was a
DACA recipient, who wants no-one else to feel the kind of aloneness
that she did. Now a mental health professional, she leads
initiatives that create resources and support for the community.
As she explains, We focus on both policy advocacy
and mental illness and mental wellness issues. You
have the right not just to survive but to thrive.
This is a story we need to hear, embrace and act on.