Students at OIHS Design Posters and Postcards About Documented and Undocumented Immigrant Rights
By Guest Blogger Mallory Moser, Computer Graphics Teacher, Oakland International High School
Do you know what to say if a police stops you in the street and asks to search your things?
Do parents have the right to a translator at public schools in California?
Do undocumented workers have the same rights to workers’ compensation and overtime as documented immigrants and citizens?
Should you ever tell the police your immigration status?
These are a few of the many questions that 11th grade students at Oakland International High School have been asking about their rights in the United States. What is my right to education? My right to interact with police? My right to remain in the country? My right to a fair wage and treatment at work? My right to participate in elections? What do these rights look like for a citizen? For a documented immigrant? For an undocumented immigrant? For six weeks, they have investigated the nuances of our rights in the United States as a part of an interdisciplinary project-based Know Your Rights unit in their Reading and Digital Media Arts classes.
After becoming experts in their rights, the students designed posters and wallet guides as tools to spread the knowledge. The students plan to disseminate the posters and wallet guides to their communities – mosques, churches, community centers, bus stops, schools and corner stores – that teach their neighbors, family and friends how to protect and defend their right to remain in the United States, right to education, right to fair wage and fair treatment at work, right to participate in elections, right to interact with police, and their right to free speech and assembly. Their posters are almost finished and now they need the necessary funds to print their posters to spread the word in local immigrant and refugee communities in Oakland.
How did this all happen? The posters and postcards are a result of something that was brewing even before the election results. The 11th grade students at OIHS began learning about their rights in their Reading Class in October where they studied, discussed and acted out different elements of their rights, living as documented and undocumented immigrants in Oakland, California. They studied what situations may occur in which they must defend their rights and what to say in order to protect their rights.
After the students analyzed the most effective ways to communicate their knowledge and educate their community, they began taking their new knowledge and information and applied it to the design of posters and postcards in their Digital Media Arts class. Each poster includes three different parts of a right, how to respond when that right is at stake and images that bring the right to life, in both English and their native languages.
The students have also been creating strategic plans detailing how they will share their posters and wallet guides, based on location, foot traffic, and time spent in a location. The posters are in the final stages of production, so now is the moment to complete this project and begin spreading the knowledge.
Let us know if you would be interested in having postcards. We need to know:
• What language(s) you prefer or need
• Number of postcards you would like
• If you would like any of the images as posters to put up in a public space
Remember, all cards have both English and another language, help us spread the word!