Theory to Praxis: Winter Break Project

Expanding on the work I studied for my literature review, I decided to focus on immigration issues and the intersection between immigration and queer studies. I am from Chicago, so I decided to look into organizations in the Chicago-land area that I can work for and with the immigrant population of my home city.
I am still waiting to hear back from one organization called the Frida Kahlo community Organization. This organization is located in downtown Chicago, in the Pilsen neighborhood. Pilsen has historically been a neighborhood of eastern European immigrants. Until the 1960s, the highest immigrant population was of Italian descent. However, since the 1960s, the neighborhood has seen an increase in the Mexican and Latino immigrants.
I am drawn to working with the Frida Community Organization because of the services they provide for women specifically. As we learned in our unit on reproduction and reproductive rights this semester, oftentimes prenatal care and other healthcare procedures is not made accessible to undocumented women or women of lower socio-economic status’. The Frida Kahlo Community Organization offers courses on the risk factors of cancer and the importance of early detection. It also offers cancer screenings for both breast cancer and cervical cancer. I am still waiting to hear back if I can volunteer, and what exactly my role would be if I can.
However, if this doesn’t work out I intend to work with the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights. There is a branch of this organization in my home town. This branch specifically focuses on providing resources for immigrant and refugee youth. They offer a wide variety of community resources and opportunities such as tutoring, spaces for transitional living, counseling programs, and Spanish speaking services for immigrants and their families. Because I can speak Spanish, I would love the chance to work with their Spanish speaking services.
This work intersects with what we have learned in GSS and what I wrote about in my literature review because we have learned in this class that socio-economic oppression, racial discrimination, and the human rights issues of immigration, are interlocking forms of oppression with members of the LGBTQ community. These organizations help empower immigrants and refugees with the tools they need to operate in the framework of American society. I am looking forward to building relationships with immigrant men and women and working alongside them this winter break, at either the Frida Kahlo Community Organization or the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.