April 7, 2008
2009 National MEChA Conference
The 2009 National MEChA Conference will be hosted by MEChA de University of Oregon, of the Aztlán del Noroeste region, at University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. More information will be posted in the national conference section, keep checking back for updates.
MEChA de University of Oregon was chosen by full consensus as the next hosting campus during the National MEChA conference call on Sunday, April 6, 2008. Below is the proposal letter by MEChA de University of Oregon that was presented to National MEChA:
Letter from MEChA de University of Oregon
Saludos National MEChA,
We hope that you are doing well en sus respective comunidades, we wanted to take this time to inform National MEChA about MEChA de University of Oregon. Our MEChA chapter has existed at the University of Oregon for over 30 years and has done continuous work supporting Raza in Oregon and nationwide. Some of the major issues that MEChA de U of O has worked towards are labor justice issues by supporting various boycotts and actions on grapes, tomatoes and lettuce as a means of solidarity with farm workers. We have historical coalitions/relationships with organizations around the state including CAUSA, an immigrants rights organization based out of Portland, and Pinero y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), located in Woodburn. We also have strong ties with social justice organizations, businesses, and schools because of some of our programs, like Ganas, an after school program in which we go to different middle schools and help them with mentoring, homework and building relationships with the students. Because of our history and our continued pursuit in helping Raza in our communities, we would like to propose to National MEChA to have the 16th Annual MEChA National Conference at the University of Oregon, hosted by MEChA de U of O.
We believe that it will be a great opportunity to have Raza from around the nation come to the northwest, and the state of Oregon more specifically, to gain some knowledge of the issues affecting our community locally. Such as the anti-immigrant groups that have been actively trying to criminalize "undocumented" people throughout the state; the Executive Order #07-22 of Governor Kulongoski to only give drivers licenses to people who are documented; Tuition Equity, a bill allowing undocumented high school students to attend a public university with in-state tuition; or the local ICE raids that have been on the rise. Most reported nationally has been the Del Monte raid in Portland, Oregon in June 2007 where more than 165 people were held, many deported and some mothers with young children were held under house arrest to take care of their families. These issues are affecting Raza everyday, and these struggles are ones that we hope that National MEChA would like to hear by having the National MEChA conference in the city of Eugene, Oregon at the University of Oregon.
MEChA de U of O would also like to keep in the tradition of MEChA and challenge ourselves to think of new ways to progress as an organization and work more effectively for the community. Some of the ways we would like to do this is by thinking of communities within Raza, Chicanas y Chicanos that we often don't address in a conference through workshops, speakers and entertainment. Issues of dis/ability, gender oppression, heterosexism, trans y queer/joterÃa are all things that we would like to address in the conference following with our advocacy agendas y otros papeles. We believe as a chapter that we have strong relationships on our campus where we can gain support from staff, professors, and administration. MEChA de U of O creemos que tenemos a unique opportunity to provide a space for National MEChA to learn about new things, learn from one another, organize Raza y tambiÃ©n have a good time. We hope that National MEChA, and each individual region and chapter strongly consider coming to OregÃ³n and having MEChA de University of Oregon host the 16th Annual MEChA Conference.
MEChA de Univeristy of Oregon