Santa Barbara City College celebrated the grand opening celebration of the SBCC Dream Center in the Campus Center on its main campus (721 Cliff Dr.), Wednesday, Oct. 19. The Dream Center is a space where undocumented students can receive legal assistance, academic assistance, financial assistance, access to community resources and more.
As part of SBCC’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competency, the Dream Center hosted a number of activities and events in recognition of the California Community Colleges system-wide Undocumented Student Week of Action, Oct. 17-20. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Rafael Agustín was on hand for an in-person keynote speech and book signing. An award-winning television writer (“Jane the Virgin”), Agustín is also the author of “Illegally Yours: A Memoir,” a funny and poignant book about how as a teenager, he accidentally discovered he was undocumented and how that revelation turned everything he thought he knew about himself and his family upside down.
The grand opening celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 19, treated attendees to live mariachi music, free food, and opportunities to paint calavera masks or write letters of support to undocumented students or “Dreamers.”
“Navigating college is a challenge for many students and undocumented students face even more complex legal, academic, career and life hurdles,” said Coordinator of Equity, Diversity, and Cultural Competency Roxane M. Byrne. “SBCC is committed to supporting undocumented students as they develop into the next generation of entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, artists and leaders in our community. The Dream Center is a resource for all undocumented and mixed status students in need of legal support, academic guidance, advocacy and a space for belonging on campus.”
SBCC welcomes all students, with the mission to provide a diverse learning environment and opportunities for students to enrich their lives, advance their careers, complete certificates, earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year institutions. The college is committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive, respectful, participatory and supportive community dedicated to the success of every student. Supporting undocumented students with the Dream Center is just one of the many ways in which the college strives to serve not only students but also the entire Santa Barbara region.
The Dream Center is located within the Center for Equity and Social Justice (CESJ) in the Campus Center. It is now open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding school holidays.