Immigration Activist Isabel Castillo to Speak Sept. 17
Isabel Castillo, an advocate for immigration rights, will speak at Bridgewater College on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 9:30 a.m. in Cole Hall, as part of the college’s Constitution Day celebration.
Born in Michoacán, Mexico, Castillo’s parents brought her – at the age of six –to Harrisonburg, Va., where her parents had jobs in the poultry industry.
Castillo grew up and was educated in the public schools. In 2007, she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in social work from Eastern Mennonite University, but as an undocumented immigrant she was unable to legally find a job.
Rather than wait for things to change, Castillo said she decided to be the change that she wanted to see.
Castillo founded DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Activist Virginia and co-founded the National Immigrant Youth Alliance.
As an advocate for immigration rights, Castillo has led rallies, organized a march on Washington, D.C., and staged a non-violent sit-in at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) office, which led to her arrest but not deportation.
Castillo is a board member for New Bridges Immigrant Resource Center and for the Scholars’ Latino Initiative–Shenandoah Valley. She serves as a volunteer social worker/interpreter for the Harrisonburg City Public Schools.
In May 2011, the University of San Francisco awarded Castillo an honorary doctorate degree for her unwavering advocacy for the passage of the DREAM Act. She received the degree on behalf of all undocumented youth who are currently in college or graduated from college.
The program is free and open to the public.