A group of 25 DePaul freshmen and staff visited the CAIR-Chicago office last month to learn about the organization’s civil rights activism on behalf of immigrants.
The students were part of DePaul’s “Discover Chicago: Immigrant Youth in Chicago” course. The first year class focuses on young people from diverse cultural backgrounds. The goal is to teach students about the realities of life for immigrant youth and the organizations that facilitate and incorporate them into Chicago’s wider community.
The class came to CAIR-Chicago to get a closer look at the efforts of activists, lawyers and community organizers involved with immigrant and civil rights issues.
Outreach Coordinator Gerald Hankerson hosted the class. He introduced them to CAIR-Chicago staff and gave them a tour of the office Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham and Communciations Coordinator Amina Sharif joined Hankerson to discuss CAIR-Chicago’s legal work on immigrant rights cases and involvement in youth leadership development and activism.
Professor Lauren Heidbrink, who teaches the course on immigrant youth, felt the class got a chance to see firsthand the inner-workings of a non-profit group and expressed interest in how staff members came to work for CAIR-Chicago.
“The students were able to learn how to get involved with immigration and youth issues,” said Heidbrink. “They wanted to know more about the basis of staff members’ work experience during college in an effort to get a sense of various career tracks associated with these topics.”