Los Angeles-based journalist and author Eileen Truax will visit California State University, Northridge — the origin of her book “Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for Their American Dream” — to speak about her work at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
The book chronicles the stories of dozens of undocumented young adults — including CSUN’s Dreams to be Heard alliance and a former student editor of the university’s Spanish-language news source, “El Nuevo Sol” — attempting to create change across the country.
Truax wrote the book to show that Dreamers have human stories that must be told to advance human rights in the United States, she said.
“They are not just 11.5 million people. They are Jose, they are Mohammed, they are Nancy,” she said. “These children are going to school without financial support, going to jobs so they can pay for books and tuition. These stories present the strength of the human spirit. Once you help them, you are sending a message to your community about where you stand in respecting social and human rights.”
In early 2010, Truax met with CSUN journalism professor Jose Luis Benavides to discuss her idea for the book. She knew that the university, which receives one of the highest rates of DREAM applicants in the state, would be a great place to start.
DREAM applicants, based on the DREAM Act that would grant undocumented people living in the United States a chance to be legally integrated into the nation, are prospective undocumented college students with a goal of being accepted despite their status.
Through Benavides, Truax then met Eleonai Santos, an undocumented student and the 2010 editor of “El Nuevo Sol.”
“That was my first interview for the whole book,” Truax said. “I was very motivated when I listened to his response to my questions. I asked him, ‘What are you going to do if the DREAM Act passes, or doesn’t pass?’ He said, ‘If it passes, I will keep going on with my life. If it doesn’t, I will have to find a way to keep going on with my life.’ And he has lived his life so well. He is a huge success.”
The guest lecture by Truax will take place in Manzanita Hall 361. The event is free and open to the public. However, parking is $6 per day. The closest parking structure to Manzanita Hall is the B3 structure, located on the southwest side of campus at 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. For more information on the event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.