Rally for Citizenship


National Rally for Citizenship at U.S. Capitol

Wednesday, April 10, at 3:00pm

West Lawn of U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C.

(press sign-in table stage left)

The History of April 10

Seven years ago, 70 cities across the county successfully took action to defeat anti-immigrant legislation in Congress. This week, we will repeat history. The National Week of Action for Citizenship will culminate in the Rally for Citizenship on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol on April 10, when tens of thousands of immigrants and supporters unite in support of common sense immigration reform now that includes citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people living in this country.

Rally Agenda

The Rally for Citizenship will showcase multi-sector support for immigration reform and elevate the personal stories of those impacted by the crisis – both immigrants themselves and their family members, co-congregants and neighbors. Listed in their order of appearance:

Rally Kick-Off – Co-MCs Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action, and Jaime Contreras, Vice-President of SEIU 32BJ, will describe the political moment that inspired the rally.


Local Media Heroes – Deejays and media personalities who have long supported immigration reform will rev up the crowd.

La Santa Cecilia – Indy-Latin fusion band La Santa Cecilia will perform their new release El Hielo (ICE) – a song with heartbreaking lyrics that convey the impact of our broken immigration system.

Interfaith Service Religious leaders will lead rally-goers in prayer, each according to his tradition, but unified in the theme of “love thy neighbor” and how it relates to a prophetic call for compassionate immigration reform. Faith leaders will be joined on stage by dozens more who were inspired to action because of their concern for their congregants and communities.

UMC Bishop ofLos AngelesMinerva Carcaño

CEO Church World Service Rev. John McCullough

Director of ReligiousActionCenterfor Reform Judaism Rabbi David Saperstein

Director Hispanic Diocese of Arlington Padre Jose Eugenio Hoyos,

IslamicCenterofMaryland Imam Jamil Dasti(Pending)

Elizabeth Alexander – Ms. Alexander was the inaugural poet at the 2009 presidential inauguration and she is the chair of Yale’s African American Studies Department. She will read an interpretation of her inaugural poem in English and Spanish.

Local Politicians D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Arlington Board of Supervisors Chair Walter Tejada, and Maryland Senator Victor Ramirez will welcome attendees to Washington, D.C.; they will be joined on stage by other local officials including D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells and Montgomery County Councilman Hans Riemer.

Families of the Fair Immigration Rights Movement Kathy Tabares, a young undocumented activist fromNew York, will share her story while surrounded by the executive directors of the largest grassroots immigrant rights state organizations in the country.

Members of CongressCongressman Luis Gutierrez (D-04-IL) will speak on behalf of other heroic Members of Congress.

LaborMary Kay Henry, President of SEIU, Bob King, President of UAW, and Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the NEA, will share the stage with other union presidents from the Laborers International, the American Federation of Teachers, Communication Workers of America and others.

Andy Andy – Bachata sensation Andy Andy will perform two of his most popular numbers.

Asian-American Pacific Islander Organizations – Representatives from the nation’s leading Asian-American Pacific Islander Organizations will describe the importance of family unity as a core component of immigration reform. Mee Moua, President and Executive Director at  the Asian American Justice Center; Ben De Guzman, Co-Director for Programs at the National Queer Asian Pacific Island Alliance; Doua Thor, Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center; Manar Waheed, Policy Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together;  Christine Harley, Policy Analyst at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations; and Miriam Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum will be joined by Son Ah Yun, Executive Director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium.

KeynoteBenjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, will give a speech highlighting the intersection of civil rights and immigrant rights while surrounded by leadership from local branches of the NAACP.

America Coming Together – From environmental to youth groups, many of the most influential political organizations in the U.S. recognize that the immigration crisis impacts us all. Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will speak on behalf of the progressive movement, and she will be joined on stage by  Jeff Blum, Executive Director of USAction; Rachel Tiven, Executive Director of Immigration Equality; Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA; Phaedra Ellis Lamkins, CEO of Green4All; Tiffany Dena Loftin, President of the United States Student Association; Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters; Miriam Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum; Andrea Cristina Mercado, Campaign Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance; and Nick Berning, Communications Director at MoveOn.

Alvaro Torres Famous romantic crooner Alvaro Torres will sing his most popular song.

Children and Families – Family separation is the most devastating outcome of our immigration crisis. Wendy Cervantes, Vice President of Immigration and Child Rights Policy for First Focus and Maryland school teacher Eric Luedkte will talk about the impact family separation has on children. Maryland youth advocate Macky Fofana will tell his personal story. Macky, originally from Mali, fears his parents will be departed. They will be joined on stage by Josie F. Garza, Executive Director, National Latino Children’s Institute; Raymond Jose, United We Dream; Ian Cainglet, member of the American Federation of Teachers; Michelle Brané, Director of Migrant Rights & Justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission and ten children.

Local FamiliesElia Lizzet de la Cruz Valencia fought for six years to be reunited with her three children. Elia will share her story and sing a song she wrote while being held in an Arizona detention center. Ricardo Campos will close the rally with the uplifting story of how local families created the rally. They will be joined on stage by dozens of volunteers who spent the last two months working tirelessly to get the word out to the community about the rally.

Immigrant Rights Activist and Grammy-award winning music star Olga Tañón Human rights defender, peace activist and multi Grammy winning artist Olga Tañón is an international music star considered to have one of the most powerful voices in Latin music. Tañón wrote a new history for the relationship withCuba together with Juanes and Miguel Bose in 2009. Her commitment to equality is a central part of her life’s work. In this manner, she has focused her powerful influence in support of immigration reform. “Time is now to start calling people by their names rather than occupations,” Ms. Tañón recently expressed. “To unify and not to separate.” Ms. Tañón has built an extraordinary cadre of artists to support the Campaign for Citizenship. She will describe this work and sing some of her most popular numbers.

Dolores Huerta – Ms. Huerta is a labor and civil rights activist who together with César Chávez co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. Broadly recognized for her advocacy for workers’, immigrants’ and women’s rights, Ms. Huerta is a beloved hero in the long struggle for respect for immigrant communities. Ms. Huerta will join Ms. Tañón on stage to issue a powerful call to action.


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