Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Act on a Dream ---Story of Us

Act on a Dream (AOD) is the premier student-led immigrant rights organization at Harvard. Founded in 2008, it began as student-led group meetings in the Philips Brooks House Association (PBHA) between undocumented students. Since then, it has expanded to serve the undocumented, mixed status, DACA/TPS community on campus. It has led a dual mission of building community on campus and advocating or the immigrant community in the U.S.

Undocumented immigrants are a resilient community whose presence in the U.S. protests their ongoing dehumanization by U.S. policies and institutional barriers that attempt to suppress their power. Among these barriers being access to an education, many undocumented students are denied the clearance to pursue a higher education. At the university level, they lack the institutional support that is there to uplift them.

AOD has created longstanding initiatives that have been aimed at uniting immigrants’ rights organizations at the college level, such as the Collegiate Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR) Conference, an annual initiative that introduces college students to immigrant justice projects and advocates while engaging them in the prospect of cross-collaboration. AOD has supported students on campus and helped them have access to resources such as through the hiring of a full-time immigration lawyer and social worker for students. AOD has centralized information for students by pushing Harvard to dedicate its own website for undocumented students. AOD has also pushed for staff and administrators to be trained on the topic of undocumented students and their unique needs as a student group. AOD has celebrated its community through initiatives such as the first ever UndocuGraduation ceremony for students in 2019, a tradition that continues to the present. In order to continue our plan to be engaged in the communities we aim to serve, we began a College Mentorship Program, in which we have worked to pair students across the United States with mentorship order to support them throughout the college application process.

Hopes and Visions of AOD:

Our official intro meeting slideshow from this year 

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