AFT Local 212’s unity gathering at the Oak Creek campus attracted an overflow crowd of mainly immigrant students.
The event was held just a few miles from where seven Sikh worshipers were murdered by a white supremacist a few years ago. Local 212 president, , Dr. Michael Rosen, opened the meeting by reading a statement of support from the MATC faculty to the college’s students reaffirming MATC’s values of diversity, tolerance and inclusion. Luz Sosa, a 212 executive board member and economics instructor, read the message in Spanish.. It was also translated in Arabic and Turkish..
Oak Creek’s mayor, Steve Scaffidi and state senator, Chris Larson, assured the students that they would do everything in their power to ensure their safety and that of their families. Students said they were concerned about the threat of deportations, a registry for Islamic students, and increased threats and violence. Representatives from the ACLU, Voces de la Frontera and the Milwaukee Women’s Muslim Coalition addressed students’ concerns and questions.
Special thanks to Oak Creek Vice President, Mark Felsheim, counselors, Carlos Aranda and Kate Cunningham, student adviser Sura Hameed, and economics instructor, Luz Sosa for helping make the event so successful.
Local 212 will be holding similar events at the downtown and west campuses the week after Thanksgiving.