Kimberly Torres, CSU STEM VISTA Member 2016-17 CSU Long Beach, drew attention to resources for undocumented people through an on-campus film screening. Here, she describes what it took to pull it all together.
What is the documentary about?
The documentary, Clínica de Migrantes, follows the stories of undocumented persons living in southern Philadelphia and the struggles they face when it comes to obtaining any form of healthcare.
How did you get the funding for the documentary and event?
My supervisor and I discussed what the process would be like being in charge of the event, the event itself, and the outcomes we would like to see. Once we had a basic plan of the event we asked BUILD and other student and campus partners if they would co-sponsor the event, which they agreed to do. I contacted the Long Beach Trauma and Recovery Center, Center for Latino and Community Health, Health Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services Student Association, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs to participate in a panel discussion after the event to discuss the resources available to students on campus. Community health organizations were also invited to speak about the health services they provide to Long Beach residents.
Who was the target audience of the event?
The main intended audience of the event was university students, but it was open to all. Living in southern California, we have diverse communities which include, 2.35-2.6 million people who are undocumented. Some are attending Cal State Long Beach and other Cal States campuses. This film was meant to bring awareness of the healthcare issues undocumented persons face as students and in the community, as well as what resources are available locally.
What did this event accomplish?
The film screening brought awareness of the issues, health related resources are available to students on campus and to people in the community, and planted ideas of how students, volunteers, universities, and businesses can come together to promote health.
What obstacles did you face when planning this event?
Obstacles I faced organizing the film screening included obtaining the film were a week away from the event, and we didn’t have possession of it yet! And obtaining full rights from the producers to showcase the film. A key lesson I learned was that accurate communication is key. Finally, right before the event started, the fire alarm went off and the building was evacuated. Thankfully, an engaged audience and partners waited it out together.
What was the best part about organizing the event?
I really learned how much detail and collaboration are important in these types of events. Without the guidance of my supervisor and the BUILD team, I wouldn’t have known about the organizations on campus or who to work with to make this event possible.