Immigration: Our Voices, Our Stories

Jackson Heights, NY – June 28, 2012, the Worker’s Justice Project (WJP) will host an art exhibit and fundraiser including artwork from artists across the country. The Immigration: Our Voices, Our Stories art exhibit seeks to reshape the conversations about immigration within our community. “The artwork on display will share many of our untold stories of suffering, determination, and survival. We hope that these stories will help our community to know more about where we come from and help our neighbors to know more about the many ways we contribute to our communities,” said Ligia Guallpa, Director of the Worker’s Justice Project

Throughout the evening we will honor migrant workers’ voices and stories, give validity to their experiences and deepen our understanding of their culture and history. “It is important for American-born people to understand that we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect like any other human beings in this country. I came here not to steal, but make a contribution with my labor, and my culture,” said Martha Coyolt, a female day laborer from Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The art exhibit and cultural show provides an opportunity for the Jackson Heights community members to respond artistically to this time in history in which migrants are being globally and locally persecuted and deprived of their rights. “This powerful event will contribute to building a broader understanding of the diversity of our community with respect. It is unfortunate that immigration laws similar to SB1070 overshadow our value as human beings,” said Yadira Sanchez, Lead Organizer of the Workers Justice Project.

Speakers and musicians will include the following: City Council Member Daniel Dromm, immigrant leaders from the community, Alto Arizona Art, Chota Madre, an Afro-Ecuadorian Band, Artist Marina Diaz, originally from Guatemala, playing the traditional Marimba. “We will remember what we miss, what we gained and what we lost by becoming immigrants,” says Maria Diaz, Performer.

The mission of the Worker’s Justice Project is to empower low-wage immigrant workers to gain a voice in the workplace and build strong and economically sustainable communities through education, organizing, leadership development, and the growth of grassroots economic alternatives.