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South Bend community members take trip to Indy to make their voices heard

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-Community members took a trip from South Bend to Indy with the goal of making their voices heard. The Coalition for Social Justice hit the state capital, on Wednesday, to meet with legislators.


A group of about 25 people, including students from John Adams High School, gathered at St. Adalbert's Church as they returned from their action-packed day.


This is not the first time the Coalition for Social Justice held an event like this, but it definitely won’t be the last.


“We called it a lobbying day,” says Dara Marquez, a member of the coalition in South Bend. Marquez joined in on the goodbye prayer that filled the room. Our purpose was to focus on two things, in state tuition and a bill for driving authorization cards,” says Marquez.


John Adams High School students, as well as some adults, made their way to Indianapolis to see legislators in action.


“We basically spoke to some state legislators about the bill,” says Alan Becerrio, a senior at Adams.


He breaks down the day, “For example me and Jimmy we both went to the same kindergarten, both played in the same playground the only difference is that jimmy can provide a birth certificate and I can’t.”


Becerrio says students, undocumented or not, have the same vision of success. “I came back with a lot of knowledge,” he says. “A lot of things that I didn’t know that were going on.”


That’s something Pastor Gilbert C. Washington agrees on, “The rights of Latinos and immigrants of this country is really the civil rights issue of this generation,” he says.


Marquez adds this gives students an opportunity to realize they too have a voice. “It was important for us to be able to expose ourselves,” says Marquez.


Pastor Washington says sometimes we have to check ourselves and ask if we are fighting for the right cause. “Look at what you would want for yourself and be for other that what you want others to be for you,” says Pastor Washington.


The Coalition for Social Justice has a Facebook page where all their events are posted.


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