I was not really sure what I was going to encounter my first day working with the Refugee Health Unit, an offshoot of the UC San Diego Center for Community Health. Since moving to La Jolla several months ago, I had yet to visit City Heights, or even truly explore any of the communities outside UCSD. Therefore, when April 11th rolled around I was truly excited to get a chance to meet with R. Z at the Refugee Health Unit office in City Heights. We had already exchanged a copious amount of email correspondence, as at that point in the school quarter, the group ofRead More →

The drive from UC San Diego to Detainee Allies with my group mates allow for a long conversation about our well-being, reflecting on the quarter so far, and preparing our minds for what we may read by ending in silence. I must give myself time to meditate. Most of the letters we read describe their personal situation; in need of money, resources, missing their family, feeling alone. However, all the letters have two bits of information in common, which is their name and A#. The detention centers gives these people a number they possibly will never forget. This number is engraved into their brain, justRead More →

I am working with Detainee Allies in there efforts to provide support to people who are being detained. The work done by Detainee Allies takes place in various locations. I attend the Monday meetings from 7-8:30pm that take place at the homes of some of the lead organizers. The work that is being done is very significant, which is evident when reading some of these letters that express gratitude to the organization for their help. All this work is done by volunteers at a large kitchen table where there is an assembly line created to read letters, address, stuff and stamp envelopes. Some volunteers insertRead More →

Although I’ve only been to two meetings so far, I am really grateful be partnering with them for this project. This past week I was able to read some of the letters that had been sent in from the detention center. Even though I only read a couple of them, I still found myself being overcome with emotion at the fact that I could practically hear the sadness and desperation in their words. When we read them we had to be on the look out for certain things such as what is it they’re asking for. I wish I was able to attend the MondayRead More →

After 3 weeks with the Girl Scouts program at UWEAST, I have started getting to know many of the students as well as some of the staff members at the center. One of my first reactions to being at the center was how open the space felt. Staff echoed this by sharing that the center is a place where anyone is welcome in the afternoons for a place to do homework or spend time. Even during specific scheduled programming, like Girl Scouts, others are welcome to use the space. Being at the center each week has reminded me of the importance of community spaces, andRead More →

When I first learned about BLCI I was automatically interested in working with them because I related to the students in that I grew up in an underserved community. Another thing I found in common with the students is that they are on their way to being the first in their families to go to college and I am the first in my family to attend college. Working with BLCI I have been able to learn more about the communities of the students they serve as well as the community in which BLCI is located. Working with the ninth grade class at first seemed likeRead More →

Sitting in an unconventional classroom space in front of a panel of five diverse and dynamic community organizations provided a myriad possibilities to conduct ethical historical research and learn history often dismissed by historical oversight. FANHS and their mission instantly captivated my interest because, as an Asian American individual myself who grew up around a Filipinx community, Asian American history is important for both my self-discovery and research interests. My initial impression of FANHS was that they were an archival source that engages in higher levels of research and outreach seeing that they publish books, scholarly journals, and frequently collaborate with academic institutions. This isRead More →

First learning about Detainee Allies and the work they do was eye-opening, but working closely with the founders/organizers of, is a whole new experience. During the presentation of Detainee Allies on day one, it was pretty emotional regarding the work that they do, and the experience of detained friends. I read a few articles and followed a few social media pages that do similar work, but meeting the people who do the work behinds the scenes opens up the reality of organizing, combating injustice. They currently have two grad student interns at SDSU, and they are the students our group will be working with. DetailsRead More →

Working with Detainee Allies for the last few weeks has been a great learning experience. It was a little unclear as to what kind of work I would be doing at first, but after attending their Monday nights organizing meeting last week, I got a better idea of how I would be working with the group. At the Monday night meeting, we got to talk to some of the folks who do the behind the scenes work for the group, which included processing letters (receiving /sending) and sending money to our detained friends. I also got to hear more about how the group started byRead More →

Working with the ninth grade class at the Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) has been such a great experience thus far. I have learned so much about the communities that surround UC San Diego, the communities that make the San Diego area what it is today. I also learned that the students who attend BLCI are not all from the Barrio Logan community, some travel upwards to an hour from their high school to get to the Monarch school which is where BLCI is located. It amazes me to see how independent and driven these ninth grade students are. When I first learned that IRead More →