As IDEAS at UCLA, we pride ourselves in being not only a support group for AB540 students, but also a strong advocate for immigrant rights and more specifically, immigration reform. As students, we have the power to use our education to spread awareness and push our government to pass just legislation that is inclusive of all our undocumented immigrant community.
The external component serves to maintain connections with community organizations, increase our visibility and activism on and off the UCLA campus, and empower members to be their own best advocates. Advocacy was one one of the four main components of IDEAS when it was founded in 2001, and it has grown so much since then. As the number of undocumented students in higher education increase, so does the need for legislation like the immigration reform, and so does our passion for its passage. Through the growth of this component, one can see the development of the momentum we’ve been able to gain as activists on our campus and as an organization.
The internal component evolved as ongoing DREAM Act campaigns gained increasing visibility and the organization solidified coalition-building with a growing number of on and off campus entities. Some of the first on campus alliances formed were with the RAZA Coalition on campus. In 2007, IDEAS formally joined the Asian Pacific Coalition–the body that represents dozens of Asian organizations at UCLA.